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This poem is taken from PN Review 240, Volume 44 Number 4, March - April 2018.

Best Translation
translation from the Spanish of Manuel Vilas’s ‘Macbeth’
James Womack
This morning I got on the ferry that runs to La Gomera
from Santa Cruz de Tenerife; I sat at the deck
bar and started on the Campari and the olives,
and after a while I was completely hammered; a Scottish woman
– scruffy and heavily made-up, around 40, fat inches of cleavage,
showing off her beautiful dark balanced breasts –
sat down to drink with me; she studied Spanish
at Madrid University, she said, and stuck out her tongue
as she did so; ‘Where is Scotland?’ I asked,
to which she replied, ‘And where’s your cock?’
And we switched from Campari to gin,
and after a while I spoke to this Scottish woman:
an inspired screed in Spanish, which she did not understand at all:

Blessed is everything that lies beneath the water,
from the shipwreck to the rhinestone necklace
that fell into the sea in an act of loving carelessness.
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