What goes missing in this story is not a weapon but the crime. A fugitive arrives at a farm in the far Sertão of Brazil. The two lonely sisters who live there and have never left it say yes, sir—some help with our hens and the broken fence there would be fine. A few apples fall. The corn grows taller. The man sweeps out the silo and a brightness seeps into the sisters—their hands assuming new meanings in the simple opening of canisters, their manicured fingers feeling around the sides. When the police arrive with a description, one sister flinches. The other closes her eyes. Only one has to say it: Deus meu, he’s in our barn.
A Maça no Oscuro
Idra Novey is the author of the forthcoming Exit, Civilian, selected by Patricia Smith for the 2011 National Poetry Series, and The Next Country, included in Virginia Quarterly Review’s list of Best Poetry Books of 2008. Her recent translations include the selected poems of Manoel de Barros and a retranslation of Clarice Lispector’s The Passion According to G.H. (New Directions, 2012). She directs the literary translation program in Columbia University’s School of the Arts.