Roman Art wing of who-knows-which museum
ancient torsos are on exhibit some of which
are missing chunks. Time was meticulous in
choosing what to carry off (the
first parts to fall varied according to gender:
there are Three Graces without heads
a penisless Phoebus) surely there must be
some place anatomy abounds
for here it’s left wanting—
marble-carved heads charming
(albeit anemia bleached)
sundry torsoless phalli (forlorn
and without use)
shall we all thank the gods for the gift of imagination
permitting us to reconfigure through disfiguration.
That’s not a difficult exercise.
This was no divine sanction.
These didn ́t break with use.
Translated from the Portuguese by Calvin Olsen
João Luís Barreto Guimarães was born in Porto, Portugal where he graduated in Medicine. He is a poet (as well as a breast reconstructive surgeon). As a writer, he is the author of nine poetry books since 1989, collected twice, including his first seven books in Poesia Reunida (Collected Poetry, Quetzal) and the subsequent Você Está Aqui (You Are Here, Quetzal, Lis- bon, 2013) and Mediterrâneo (Mediterranean, Quetzal, Lisbon, 2016). He is also a translator, a chronicler and a blogger, mainly for his blog Poesia & Lda (Ilimited Poetry). His work is published in anthologies in Portugal, Brazil, Germany, Italy, México and Croatia, as well as in literary magazines in Portugal, Spain, France, Belgium, United Kingdom, Macedonia, Brasil and the United States.