Cover Photo: A fantastical illustration of a sad woman by a lakeside, accompanied by a smiling turtle with a sword on its back
Illustration by Sirin Thada for Catapult

So What’s Your Name, Sandra?

Her son’s name was Bison and, wouldn’t you know, she’d enjoyed calling him “Son” for short.

,

My, don’t they look sweet from up here,

He’s at peace with our Heavenly Father now, Eda

Sandra’s not my daughter, Inanguda, it’s me. I have a kid named Bison, but he poisoned himself.

Poisoned himself? But why?

Because I told him he was no child of mine. And then I kicked him out.

But why did you kick him out?

I found out he had a boyfriend, Inanguda.

*

Ise—ise goarku, Inanguda?

Sorry

The people she’d met when she moved to Bekasi called her Bison’s mother, Mama of Bison—“Mama Bison.”

Bi sonbi-son, bison, bison

ơ

Ise goarmu?—What’s your name?

Sandra, Inanguda. Tongtong Sandra goarku—Sandra has always been my name.

*

Norman Erikson Pasaribu is an Indonesian writer of poetry, fiction, and nonfiction. His book of poems Sergius Seeks Bacchus (trans. by Tiffany Tsao) was published in the UK (Tilted Axis Press) and Australia (Giramondo). He is currently at work on a novel.

Tiffany Tsao’s translations of Norman’s poetry have won the English PEN Presents and English PEN Translates awards. In addition to being a translator, she writes fiction. She is the author of The Majesties and the Oddfits fantasy series. She holds a Ph.D. in English literature from UC-Berkeley, and now lives in Sydney, Australia.