“Agrippina” by Ángelo Néstore (trans. Lawrence Schimel)

               All the rooms of my life
               would have strangled me between their walls.
                             —Louis Aragon
At night a tenant walks barefoot
across the wooden floor of my living room.
When I’m asleep he slides back the curtains,
comes in through the room’s window,
turns on the lights, makes my house Rome.

He looks at himself in the bathroom mirror, feels like Agrippina,
tests all my colognes.
Counts the days remaining in my lease
and no matter how elegantly he behaves
on waking I can detect his traces.

And while he piles the books on the floor
I continue, without knowing it, with my routine of unfulfilled futures
and again night returns
and again my tenant patiently manifests,
a thousand tenants with torches
burning the curtains, the books, the wood,
preparing for the great blaze.


Ángelo Néstore was born in Lecce, Italy in 1986 and now lives in Málaga, Spain. He is a poet, actor, translator, and professor in the Department of Translation and Interpreting of the University of Malaga. He co-directs both the Irreconcilibales International Poetry Festival and the feminist poetry publisher La Señora Dalloway. In English, his poems have appeared in Tupelo Quarterly, Cordite, and the anthology Correspondences: Contemporary LGBT Poetry from Spain. His collection Impure Acts, translated by Lawrence Schimel, is forthcoming from Indolent Books in 2019.

Lawrence Schimel is a bilingual (Spanish/English) author and literary translator who lives in Madrid, Spain. He is the author of the poetry chapbooks Deleted Names and Fairy Tales for Writers (both A Midsummer Night’s Press) and writing in Spanish of Desayuno en la cama (Egales). Recent poetry translations include Destruction of the Lover by Luis Panini (Pleiades) and Bomarzo by Elsa Cross (Shearsman).