J O A N P E R U C H O
Translated by Carla Billitteri and Benjamin Friedlander
from Giovanni Miraglia's Italian translation of Perucho's Catalan
From an unmade hotel mirror
the naked body of a woman has appeared,
erased by time, “La Martorana.”
Beyond the shaded palaces
the filth recalls her to the “Quattro Canti”
of Spanish Viceroys. The specter cries
against the stagnant rain of the window,
now that the days have fled
toward Palermo 's lugubrious decay.
n e x t
The Church of Santa Maria dell'Ammiraglio, known as La Martorana , was built in Palermo during the first half of the twelfth century by the Admiral to Roger II, hence the church's name. The Quattro Canti (“Four Corner”) are formed by the crossing of two main thoroughfares, Via Maqueda and Corso Vittorio Emanuele; the site is marked by statues of four Spanish Viceroys: Carlo V and Philip II, III and IV.
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