FIVE MESSAGES FROM PUERTO RICO

Here a shadow lives, here … a memory
here . . . an abyss.

pass, gentlemen, pass
a corpse awaits you
with eyes in the flesh,
a tomb awaits you
with folded children enfolded,
there awaits you a silence of tunnel
tied to an umbilicus.
inside, in an obscure corner,
in each gold-plated skull begins the rootless sadness,
its long journey,
eternal transit through constellations of disgusted bones.

There awaits you, gentlemen,
a long road
carpeted with imperfect nerves, rejected, hardly germinating anew, more tortuous
than before birth
commencing the promised anguish and revealing the glimmering death
in twilights of ashes and dust.
here lives, sirs, the blood
quiescent and tired,
ashamed of its traffic
in monies, of plugging holes,
of rushing in throats without sound.

pass, gentlemen, pass
the table is set,
there are promises, books, gold in abundance
and, above all, laughs like partitions that hide the blood of the brother and a death with stripes dancing in the combats.
Jose Maria Lima
Fragment from HOMAGE TO AN UMBILICUS