Claudina Domingo

For José Francisco Zapata

it persists in the instant and isn’t nostalgia          (split bits of acetate discs) straight hair of astral oil under the new sun          (emerald green) doesn’t resist the wall’s expulsion          three and four windows missing (the others like sugar lace)          rusted see-saws
          (it persists) the dismembering of a day into its impossible hours

you say (undaunted) “the day rose out of dawn like a ruptured rat”          (out of order) nature snatched its due from the city          “it didn’t even give you time to grab your things”        
          you don’t believe your eyes until the perfume of death (or gas) swells up with the days          (later you whisper) “a hundred twenty seconds against the city”          (today you don’t want to know anything of its tremblings)          they piled the dead “on this corner”          they tried to resuscitate them a bit further on          between rebar (beams) light fixtures pipes          they searched for whatever the devourer hadn’t swallowed          “any little screwup and it all comes crashing down on us”          they tripped over the remains of the girl (who woke up under a sky of rubble)

spider web (vestibule) Gran Hotel or clinic          a slide held up by three stones          goldfinch dangling broken from its swing          (wooden rafters) “never again”          (never again) 151-49-30 the ash tree’s wound (open)          the crumbling temple (before the metro disappears deep into the city’s epic entrails)          cluttered jumble (trampled nature)          piling up the wreckage (it isn’t what it seems) fragments of a constellation that will never realign          saying “a city doesn’t pick itself up” (it collapses on its own)          “the act of naming it brings it to life”

pause (rewind)          modernity likes to make you wait          (it knows you savor it like those paper-wrapped sweets filled with pistachios)          as you root through the pirated fayuca for a Pink Floyd cd that still hasn’t shown up (generous) it hands you a day unlike any other          the “it can’t be” that will no doubt become a legend

a fault (the whole city hanging over a fault)          but it’s “un quiebre” not “un equívoco” and they’ve mistranslated          “a break” “a tear” a tug on the city’s Achilles tendon
        fracture and rip (evisceration of bricks and tiles)          learning to live in its cadaver (is necessary)          learning to live with its cadaver’s (cadaver)         electric wires channeling light nowhere          a datsun with chinese holograms (stalled silent for twenty years)          colonia Tránsito entrenched in the wastelands of memory          you left babbling (then returned)          you recount it every time they put this rosary in your hands          (you say) “this is the face of destiny”          the face I put on when I saw that where a house had been there was a ruin swaying from its gargoylish gaffs
                    thursday (rubble) ¿which coroner?          “already at the district precincts”

(they fucked you over) princess ¿or did you fuck yourself over?          you’ll have to wait another couple decades to see the girder fall that only wavered then (it bowed a bit) and elbowed up against a ramp  
          to imagine the ruins          to take stock of the remains of colors posters comic strips          to then thrust yourself as always toward the possibility of the possible          a day will come when you won’t have to wait two years to see the movies          a week (¿a thursday?) perhaps a year will show up and say “I’m here to make it up to you”
          meanwhile (fear) doesn’t leave (it refuses) it constantly peeps its head out and whispers “I’ll be back soon”          (never again) will you trust in its unfilled-cistern heart          (sometimes) you’ll come to a halt with your pulse racing          until you’re sure it’s just a big-rig (passing by)
                              meanwhile ¿why so little faith in the future?

translated from the Spanish by Ryan Greene