Perfect Unreality



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,
against you,
do not then release
any fissure
any forgotten wound
any loose terror.

Translated by Laura Chalar



LALT No. 4
Number 4

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.

Table of Contents

Editor's Note


Short Fiction from Peru


Translation Previews and New Releases



Latin American Science Fiction

Indigenous Literature

Dossier: Five Women Writers in Translation


Dossier: Colombian Poetry

Nota Bene