“Estival, ida y vuelta”/ “Summer, There and Back,” a Poem by Mariana Spada, translated by Robin Myers

From the Collection The Law of Conservation

August 21, 2023  By Mariana Spada and Robin Myers

Nada hay como remar de noche

por un río negro y conocido

tan negro que la luna reverbera

sobre el perfil tornasolado de los peces

cruzando el caudal antiguo

mil cuchillos arrojados desde el fondo

por una mano ciega.


En este río domado por represas

las ramas se vuelcan mansas lejos de

la orilla, y besan el agua donde

abrevan las luciérnagas que una vez

pareció que nos seguían. Este río

lo cruzamos juntos una noche, desde

una costa de arena hasta la otra de



There’s nothing quite like rowing in the dark

along a black, familiar river

so black the moon reverberates

against the gleaming profile of the fish

crossing the ancient course,

a thousand knives flung from the depths

by some blind hand.


Inside this dam-tamed river

boughs jostle gentle far from

shore, kissing the water where

the fireflies, which once had seemed

to follow us, have come to drink. We crossed

this river once, together, from

a bank of sand onto another one of



Excerpted from The Law of Conservation by Mariana Spada, translated by Robin Myers. Copyright © 2023. Available from Deep Vellum.

Mariana Spada and Robin Myers
Mariana Spada and Robin Myers
Mariana Spada was born in Entre Ríos, Argentina, in 1979. She studied Literature in Santa Fe, Argentina, and lived in Buenos Aires for about a decade before moving to Barcelona, Spain, where she currently resides. The Law of Conservation is her first book.

Robin Myers is a Mexico City-based poet and Spanish-to-English translator. Robin’s poetry has been selected for the 2022 Best American Poetry anthology and appears in journals such as the Yale Review, Denver Quarterly, Poetry Northwest, Annulet Poetry Journal, and Massachusetts Review, among others. Her collections have been published as bilingual English-Spanish editions in Mexico, Argentina, Chile, and Spain.

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