A Rat
translated by Ananda Lima

there’s a rat
I carry
in my clothes

when it crawls
I hope that it doesn’t go far
that it wraps itself around my shoulder
or rolls down to my left leg
and rests there

when it pierces my skin
I tremble without panic
with a bit of pleasure even
when I can I wipe the blood
when I can’t I let it dry
and it dries

mostly I hope
that my companion
won’t notice
that I have a rat
scurrying in my shorts

on the street yesterday
the rodent suddenly
jumped out of my shirt
and revealed

for a second
my neighbors
met my fear
saw in my fear
its face
and ears

Ana Guadalupe is a Brazilian poet currently based in São Paulo who has published three poetry collections: Relógio de pulso (7Letras, 2011), Não conheço ninguém que não seja artista (Confeitaria, 2015) and Preocupações (Edições Macondo, 2019). Since 2006, her work has been featured in art projects, magazines and anthologies in the US, England, Spain, Portugal, Mexico and Chile. Her first poetry collection in English will be published by The Scrambler. She has translated works by Sylvia Plath, Carmen Maria Machado, Kristen Roupenian and Roxane Gay into Portuguese for major Brazilian publishing houses.

Ananda Lima‘s work has appeared or is upcoming in The American Poetry Review, Poets.org, Gulf Coast, Kenyon Review Online, Colorado Review, Jubilat, Poet Lore, and elsewhere. Her poetry collection Mother/land was the winner of the 2020 Hudson Prize and is forthcoming in 2021 with Black Lawrence Press. She is also the author of the chapbooks Translation (Paper Nautilus, 2019, winner of the 2018 Vella Chapbook Prize), Tropicália (Newfound, forthcoming, winner of the 2020 Newfound Prose Prize) and Amblyopia (forthcoming, Bull City Press – INCH micro-chapbook series). She have an MA in Linguistics from UCLA and an MFA in Creative Writing in Fiction from Rutgers University, Newark.