Three Poems

 

Street in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Photo: Beau Horyza, Unsplash.

 

A bucolic poem

The river dried up because it doesn’t rain.
The road that connects the countryside
to the city was turned to pieces
under the heavy showers
back when it did rain. 
They closed the only grade school in town
on account of no more children,
say the elders of the land
shriveled as they are like when you enter a river
and stay in for too long a time.

 

 

Lucky Strike

While killing cockroaches in the bathroom of an apartment that will never be her own, she notices she’s menstruating. As she enters the shower, a drop of blood stains a lotto ticket on the floor by the wastepaper basket.

“The fact that it’s already at 24 million is a sure sign I’m not a winner.”

 

 

For now

In the same way
that credit card bills
come and go

that the noise of the collective
generator leaves us deaf
during blackouts

that the mortgage bank
threatens to take away
all private property
—this leaky roof—

the most public
of all properties
your smile 
—which belongs to me
tax free—is enough
                                                               for now.

Translated by Guillermo Rebollo Gil

 

Guillermo Rebollo Gil (San Juan, 1979) is a writer and translator from Puerto Rico. He is the author of several poetry, creative nonfiction and academic books. As a translator, he has had the opportunity to publish works by Summer Browning, Noel Black, Alex Maldonado Lizardi, and Cindy Jiménez-Vera.

Languages

Megan McDowell in LALT No. 21
Number 21

In our twenty-first issue, we shine a spotlight on translation with a cover feature dedicated to Megan McDowell, the translator of many of Latin America’s best-known contemporary writers. Other features include a dossier of literary voices from Bolivia and a full set of fiction, poetry, essays, and interviews, plus exclusive translation previews and writing by Indigenous poets of the Wayuu, Shuar, and Quechua peoples.

Cover photo: Sebastián Escalona

Table of Contents

Editor's Note

Featured Translator: Megan McDowell

Dossier: Bolivian Literature

Brazilian Literature

Fiction

Poetry

Essays

Interviews

From World Literature Today

Indigenous Literature

Translation Previews and New Releases

Nota Bene