You bought your cousin’s
Chevrolet Belair ‘56
next you had a Pontiac Chief Star ‘55
you sold it to your brother
in law because he had just started working
in the public works department
then it was a Pontiac Bonneville ‘57
a bunch of cars came in two tones back then
grandma learned to drive in that car
you could fit yourself inside the trunk
it was one of the prettiest Pontiacs they put out
now, you take us
as you did then
by the sheep’s ankles
to the neighborhood’s clear water
in two tones
to see if we can signal the song
that chafes the air of the flamboyán trees
like the noise a puddle makes dying on the road
or the families that no longer have to rely on one another
to have a car to park out on the grass.
Gone are the things I always wanted
a picture of a fountain
the happy consent of the brief
the question we pose to the birds
it’s not like it’s stopped being a well
coins fall in it
I don’t hear them against the clay
and the rain has taken so long
Translated by Guillermo Rebollo Gil
Alex Maldonado Lizardi (San Juan, Puerto Rico,1982). Spanish and philosophy high school teacher. Qué más puede la tierra (Ed. Aguadulce, 2018) is his first poetry collection.
Guillermo Rebollo Gil (San Juan, 1979) is the author of several poetry and essay collections, including Fire island (The New Heave Ho, 2014) and Writing Puerto Rico: Our Decolonial Moment (Palgrave, 2018). As a translator, he has published I’ll trade you this island/Te cambio esta isla (Ediciones Aguadulce 2018), a bilingual selection of Cindy Jimenez Vera’s poetry, and Recetas naturales para el mundo fenomenal (Ediciones Aguadulce, 2017), a bilingual selection of Sommer Browning’s poems.
The fourteenth issue of Latin American Literature Today features dossiers dedicated to the dislocated writing of Latin American authors based in the United States and the gothic fiction of Mariana Enriquez, plus reflections on writing in a second language by Fabio Morábito, an interview with 2019 Alfaguara Prize winner Patricio Pron, and exclusive translation previews from Guadalupe Nettel, Gabriela Wiener, and Luis Alejandro Ordóñez.