The city

of herself to herself with words replacing the veins, the city gravitates in the sensitive fragments of verbs. a night movement lives on the highest floors of solitude. the great city rushes in the convocation of men that are lost and found in the same space. the hot age of the earth dies in my hands as I pass this sad bridge which will connect you with Setúbal. you could not pay the houses I sell not even if you double your existence. the shingles linger in my eyes remembers the crackling sound of your presence. I love to laugh today.

O Movimento Impróprio do Mundo [The Improper Movement of the World) (Âncora Editora, Portugal, 2016) [Âncora Publishing house, Portugal, 2016]


need seven nights

I need seven nights, eight days to find me, write several outputs, shred time admire the open music of the trees, the mythological work of the poem. awaken the inner violins that take care of the streets I bring your name burned in my arms, a poisoned mirror in my throat. deviating snakes from borders that separate us I retreat like a convalescent animal the cliffs you bring to your shoulders, oh, the precipices that bend over your name. a lightning factory explodes at sea speed nobody knows anything about the moon that lives on your nerves. every night, every day that I find your body will be the space itself in the sleeping body near the neck the primitive mornings where everything disappears without a trace.

A Transfiguração da Fome [The Transfiguration of Hunger] (Labirinto, Portugal, 2018) [Labirinto Publishing House, Portugal, 2018]


The Center of the Universe 宇宙中心

They call it The Center of the Universe but I do not see stars, in fact, little is seen in the days of June. in addition to the intermittent gray earthquake over these foreign heads, wudaokou is a daily earthquake. when the hours wake me up I do not recognize the prosperous economy. or the millenary culture, I just catch my breath. I burn in the shadows scattered along the street. I search the shallow dialogues inside me where Chinese sayings are written Where Water Flows, a Channel Will Form This is how the banks replaced the hutongs and the street vendors came to our phones. The five mouths drink so many dreams That it becomes a perpetual drunkenness with dreamy bikes towards the neck, cars over the arms, carbonized brains in the thorax, gold dragons that spit Taoist foam. in the distance, they shine in the emperor’s pupils, observe the muscle of the breath and play mahjong with our lives.

A Transfiguração da Fome [The Transfiguration of Hunger] (Labirinto, Portugal, 2018) [Labirinto Publishing House, Portugal, 2018]

Published by Spittoon Collective


i’ll search for you all over my body, i know you inhabit me, buried somewhere inside my ego. if you aren’t there, you’re in the stars’ entrails and that’s the same, it’s the language of a film you found mediocre because it was abstract, it’s the chromatic spectrum of the grammar you inflict on me, it’s the agitated nerves yelling at the poem and it’s the poem shouting back and the words jerking down through the tendons. i press each letter into the deepest loneliness and the pages suffer the weight of the syllables.

there’s a savage light

there’s a savage light scanning my name slowly going insane within the humid gut of memory. the voice’s space expands until it reaches the unbreathable age of objects. i sit watching the beach how the water dreads coming too close almost touching on questions. my eyelids drain down to the nerves. there is an unbearable coldness in the slide of time  over the moulded plaster of each name, and a feverish place, where intelligence manages to crumble away at all the decipherable traces of life. each name, in the inner stillness of its womb, in the simmered blood of nights, carries an unpronounceable heavy light.


rough mornings burn away sleep and fever fizzes up the most vertical of words. your finger on my name exerts agonising pressure and a spasm runs through this text while hell is slowly hatching inside my chest like a snake creeping into the unsteady hollows of the hours. sparks fly out of books and the flames urgently heal each less intended breath but there are assignments less sweet than others and there are syllables set to vibrate in the core of the deepest innocence.


the power of the landscape corrupts the text, it penetrates its frailty. the game of the tactile, of the glowing, of the scenic tension of your name – so tense is it, that it isn’t displayable – but i can always display this photograph, not on walls as in times past, but i can still ingrain it into your subconscious through the feed of your wall on one of those social networks where there’s no place for debate since each person is the dictator of his own reality, which might even be convenient were we able to be solely confronted by that which doesn’t shock us. let me rejoice with the power to see you and the power to know you see me, thus i am an image, i am fleshy matter, i am back and shoulders and eyelids, i exist because light exists. allow me to upload this existence directly into the deepest memory of your libido. it’s probably simpler. words are the business of poets.


a few months have gone by since I learned your face by heart a few days have passed since I knew your name, a few hours have gone by since i left your room. from my room to yours time is a sombre passageway floating on the edges of images. i find myself lying on the soft robes of expectation, i find the meanderings of a fetid academicism a soft roaring robe that devours my waiting, that burns through my waiting, though i wait for nothing, in particular, except perhaps more waiting. arteries weakened by the years run through me. the skin of fear slides with me across the room or is it my ideas being flooded by the sampness of thesed cracked walls? in my voice i sense the burden of the furniture and the burden of all  the fingerprints of all the other students who, like me, have used it. in my mouth, i taste the salty memory of you, or the salty memory of what i think you are, of what i’d like you to be, of wthat i’d like me to be together with what i’d like you to be. fear is stifling age, delight in pessimism is perched on the chest of drawers and some minutes have elapsed since I started hating you.

Published by Poems From the Portuguese


Sara F. Costa is a Portuguese writer and translator. She holds a master degree in mandarin and is currently living in Beijing working with the arts collective “Spittoon”.

She has published five poetry collections in Portugal. Her latest book won the international award “Glória de Sant’Anna” for best poetry book published in Portuguese speaking countries in 2018. She has an MA in Intercultural Studies: Portuguese/Chinese from Tianjin Foreign Studies University. Her verses have been translated into several languages and featured in literary journals all across the world. As an emerging European poet, she was an invited author of the International Istanbul Poetry Festival 2017. In 2018, Sara worked in the organization of The Script Road-Macau Literary Festival and China-European Union Literary Festival in Shanghai and Suzhou. In 2019, she was invited to go to Kolkata, India to share her poetry in the second edition of “Chair Poetry Evenings”. She translates Chinese poetry into Portuguese and is currently living in Beijing coordinating events for the Spittoon Beijing Based Arts Collective.

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