Sourire d’enfant. Aquarelle de dents blanches.
Simple beauté sans fard ni ambages. Nulle carte
postale. Elles sont devant vous les fillettes aux
grands yeux qui gueusent du pain. Rires étouffés
comme une paire de sanglots.
*Titre emprunté à Rabah Belamri, écrivain algérien décédé en 1995.
Child’s smile. Watercolor of white teeth.
Simple beauty with unrouged lips. Not a postal
card. Little girls before you with
wide eyes beg for bread. Laughs suppressed
like a pair of sobs.
*Title borrowed from Rabah Belamri (1946-1995), blind Algerian writer.
Nancy Naomi Carlson is a poet and translator whose work has appeared in or is forthcoming in Agni, Boulevard, Circumference, Crazyhorse, Denver Quarterly, Inventory, The Iowa Review, The Journal, Western Humanities Review, Poetry, Prairie Schooner, Shenandoah, and The Georgia Review. Her poetry collections have won the Washington Writers’ Publishing House competition, the Texas Review Press’ Robert Phillips Poetry Chapbook Prize, and have been selected for the Tennessee Chapbook Prize. Her translations of Suzanne Dracius and Abdourahman Waberi are current or forthcoming in 2015 from Tupelo Press and Seagull Books (distributed by the University of Chicago Press) respectively. She was awarded an NEA literature translation fellowship for Abdourahman Waberi’s collection of poetry. She is also an instructor at the Bethesda Writer’s Center, translation editor for Tupelo Quarterly, and translation editor for Blue Lyra Review. In addition, she coordinates the graduate school counseling program at the University of the District of Columbia.