Prelude to Delay the End

by Liliana Ramos Collado

to follow the neck to the last bit of splendor

to hop a train with the hope of falling off
at the end of the bridge and
to land intact

to open the eyes
over rooftops where
verse can be hurled
in couplets

to label the hemlock that grows in
to order around the obese and frazzled wife who
does not whet the blade in the skin of her

who dotes with methodical sweetness rubbing the
brick face
under a thin beard     that ponders the temptation

to amuse oneself with a white joke
the foil
where the narcotics float

to deplore the sadness
to harrass her with nettled barbs
to cut her off
she offering him pitfalls
(that we do not see from any hint in the eye
they paralyzed hand in hand)

in the end

putting on faces that do not seem to be their own.


Translated from the Spanish by Zoë Anglesey.


Liliana Ramos Collado: Puerto Rico (1954). Literary critic, translator, poet.

spanish language
latin american literature
Winter 1986
The cover of BOMB 14