Welcome, perfect unreality,
dilution of certainty in angelic smokes, mirage,
clarity mutating towards absolute darkness.
Welcome, inconsistency of touch, dubious vision
saving us from dogma,
from believing we believe.
Welcome, intimate refraction of light
in the serous core of the cancer that kills
faith, the confident vigor of muscle
and the sensual impulse.
Welcome, wise fatigue
that grows and thickens
quietly in the arteries.
Friend who gives time,
after everything, to time.
Since you allow for going nowhere and to the center
of the nebula, where there is only silence –
since you allow for a vague sun of nausea to reign
in the sancta sanctorum of the body, since you allow for the silent dying
of that voracious animal biting under the skin: love
and all its poisonous brood – since you smother rage,
since you rot before the brain’s risky, ambitious reveries can shine,
since you humiliate blood with the invisible hand
that also makes the gardens bow, since you climb
up the fingers strengthening the music that will lose
the senses, since you vanquish the first glance
that seeks the exit from the maze, since
they and we are helpless before you,
do not then release
any forgotten wound
any loose terror.
Translated by Laura Chalar
Pedro Arturo Estrada (Medellín, Colombia, 1956) has published the verse collections Poemas en blanco y negro (Editorial Universidad de Antioquia, 1994), Fatum (Colección Autores Antioqueños, 2000), Oscura edad y otros poemas (Universidad Nacional de Colombia, 2006), Suma del tiempo (Universidad Externado de Colombia, 2009), Des/historias (2012), Poemas de Otra/parte (2012), Locuas Solus (Sílaba editors, 2013), Blanco y negro with a new selection of texts (New York, 2014), and Monodia (New York, 2015). He has won many literary prizes, including the Ciro Mendía National Prize in 2004, the Sueños de Luciano Pulgar Prize in 2007, the Medellín City Grant for Creative Writing in 2012, and the Casa Silva Prize in 2013. He has also participated in numerous literary festivals and poetry events in Colombia and the United States. His work has appeared in national and international anthologies and has been partially translated into several languages, including English, Romanian, Portuguese, and French.
The fourth issue of LALT highlights underrepresented but deserving voices from across Latin America, with a focus on women writers as well as special sections dedicated to genre-bending science fiction, indigenous-language poetry and prose, and the essential relationship between author and translator.