Translating an Autopsy, or To the Man Autopsied Into 99 Pages

Translating an Autopsy, or To the Man Autopsied Into 99 Pages

Translating an Autopsy, or To the Man Autopsied Into 99 Pages

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Please know that I read them all and could not weep, afraid to compromise the task I was handed: to reconstitute this you in the Spanish tongue. Know that I aimed to honor what the body told, to tell the Mexican police of the pages with the rudimentary outline of a male body the size of an action-figure with wounds marked X on your torso, evidence of the knife, pages with the coroner’s notes a jumble of semi legible jargon of anatomy atomized into dorsal and proximal, posterior and anterior, inches and centimeters of distance and depth conquered by the killer’s thrum and slash, pages with the crime scene scribbled into a living room couch soaked through, blood crusting the floor and telling of drought, splatters on the wall dripping every synonym of pain, pages with interviews of neighbors who saw the many men who came and went, the rumor of your inclinations for one, the one who may have been the one who fled to Mexico, pages with hands, even your hands, even the cut and pierce of your hands, telltale signs of the struggle against annihilation, flesh screaming mercy, your hands and the word manos recalling the word hermanos, which is how you may have seen each other once before the first kiss.

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