Editor’s Choice


















by Antonio Guzman Gomez



Kiran Bhat,



The woman who died
brought me to this world only
so I could suffer.


Laj te ants
te la yik’on talel ta balumilal
te banti ya xk’unil lajon baele.


Murió la mujer
que me trajo a este mundo
donde agonizo.


The poor sad body
suspended in the coffin
detains all of time.


Te meba bak’ete,
tik’il ta skaxa,
ya skom te orae.


El pobre cuerpo,
suspendido en su féretro,
detiene al tiempo.


In the funeral
four candles vividly burn
while one is crying.


Te banti xich’il te animae,
chanch’ix kantela ya xtil
te june ya x-ok’.


En el funeral,
cuatro cirios ardían
y uno lloraba.


The prayers are said
in the name of death, and yet
they are sad and vain.


Te sk’oponel kajwaltik
ta stojol te animae
mel-o’tantik sba, chajpnax ta a’yel-a.


Las oraciones
que dedican al muerto
son tristes, vanas.


Resting on the grave,
though the flowers are shining,
they too are in pain.


Ta sba mujkenal,
manchuk snichimaj te nichimetike
yakalikix ta k’un lajel.


Sobre la tumba,
aunque las flores brillen
ya agonizan.


The dead man, once he
went into the pit, never
saw himself again.


Te lajem winike,
teme ayix ta yutil lume
ma xkilbetikix sit-a.


El hombre muerto,
una vez en la fosa
no vuelve a verse.


They dress up and mourn,
these dear women who pray to
the darkness of death.


Ijk’ sk’u’ik
te antsetik ya sk’oponik
te ijk’al lajele.


De luto visten
las mujeres que rezan
la oscura muerte.


Antonio Guzman Gomez is a poet of the Maya Tseltal community. As the contemporary literature of Maya Tseltal develops, Antonio has chosen to write in the haiku form because he would like other traditions outside of the West to be a part of his mother tongue’s literary formation. Guzman Gomez’s translator, Kiran Bhat, believes that his poetry and its cross-pollination between these four linguistic cultures (Japanese, Maya Tseltal, Spanish and English) has created works of art deserving of international attention.


Kiran Bhat is a global citizen formed in a suburb of Atlanta, Georgia, to parents from Southern Karnataka, in India. He has currently traveled to over 135 countries, lived in 18 different places, and speaks 12 languages. He is primarily known as the author of we of the forsaken world… (Iguana Books, 2020), but he has authored books in four foreign languages, and has had his writing published in The Kenyon Review, The Brooklyn Rail, The Colorado Review, Eclectica, 3:AM Magazine, The Radical Art Review, The Chakkar, Mascara Literary Review, and several other journals. His list of homes is vast, but his heart and spirit always remains in Mumbai, somehow. He is currently bumming around Mexico

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