Prelude to Delay the End by Liliana Ramos Collado

BOMB 14 Winter 1986
014 Winter 1986

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.

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Signor Hoffman by Eduardo Halfon

From the train I could look out onto the infinite blue of the sea. I was still exhausted, wakeful from the overnight transatlantic flight to Rome, but looking out at the sea, that Mediterranean sea that was so infinite and so blue, made me forget it all, even myself. I don’t know why.

Originally published in

BOMB 14, Winter 1986

Roy Lichtenstein, Jackie Winsor, art by Sarah Charlesworth, Francesco Clemente, and more.

Read the issue
014 Winter 1986