CUBA, THE LONELY
Orlando Luis Pardo Lazo
Leaving us alone is a pleasure.
Being alone at this hour without an hour of history is a privilege.
I can feel in the air the very free dawn of Cuba.
Us alone and free of any personal excess.
Paradoxically, Cuba built another fate, the paradise that was planned from the beginning.
Cuba dug it’s own silence, it’s disconnection, it’s impossible space with no solidarities.
Now, enjoying the original vacuum is all that’s left.
I open my mouth and swallow a slice of nothing.
I can give testimony to the Cubans of the world that the night in this island is still beautiful, atrocious, a miracle of wounded Cubanity.
Cubans disappear at night, and only then does the homeland feel private: an acceptable Cuba, not at all communal, an intimate Cuba, weightless, atmospheric and of course, galactic.
The asphalt skates from humidity.
Backyards are unfathomable monsters.
I realize that these neighborhoods on the outskirts were already identical in the forties of the last century (the century that has long gone).
There is no local facade which is a present heritage of the Revolution.
The sinewy silhouette of the streets, the labyrinthine staircases, the patios thought to be eternal gardens, the curbs, the the garages with their factory gates, the carcinogenic chimneys, hallways with stairs and rental apartments, cheap tiles that still stay overnight with me, false and perfect arches, parks with pines (they are the only ones that grew old, the ones that weren’t razed by the State), the winding railroad lines and the vile slaughterhouse (the cows also disappeared, luckily, after thousands of deaths by electrocution and dagger), the porches never lit now, but little by little they have swings again, the names tattoos in glass and tar: Villa Fulana, Villa Mengana, Villa Ciudad that had names and not a cold reference number.
So much coagulate beauty is intolerable.
Cuba was a country. I’m dying.
Giving pain not ruin, if not its conservation intact.
Giving fear so much museum.
Cuban sanity makes me weak in the early morning.
I bear witness, Cuba. I’m crazy. Better you kill me.
Who else could you see? Who do you think of at the base of the atavistic aroma of your bakeries? How many repair the whistles in a boat miles beyond the bay? Where is everyone, also reading me in a trance? What did we lose there, how?
I’m terminal, Cuba. I’m yours.
We finished and you left, untouched. Cruel. Saint.
A Cuba incapable of hatching even half a Cuban citizen.
A Cuba never decrepit, simply emptied.
A Cuba that wanted not to be so much.
And the loneliness of these urban wastelands in the heart that survive is a scar that can no longer be renounced.
Because that cured Cuba I am too.
This karst carcass is my skeleton, my funeral obituary of uncivil animal who imagines that language exists.
I have the delusional gift of roaming still roaming around there, mumbling pixels and paragraphs.
I’ve seen things you humans would not believe.
I’m single, posthumously.
I’m back home and I know that, every night, the last Cubans lie down to sleep with me.
I dream for you the nightmare of the just.
Bless, then, this insomniac insanity of open lips (I don’t shut up, I’m not going to shut up).
You dream, please, with the hollow echo of my steps without permission in the night without Cuban night (it is the law of the happiest, believe me, in the midst of my suicidal sadness there is no one happier than I am today).
Wake up with the pain of my words on the surface of your eyelids (I see everything, nothing blinds me).
At times, by the light of your soul, when I remember that evening or early dawn and the sun will abolish this miracle with H, I love them one by one like ghosts are loved by those who have congenitally visited us both.
At times, in the shadow of uprooting (that other gift for a survivor of vertigo), when they remember that sooner or later the illusion of my discourse will fade, love me ghostly or at least phantasmagorically you to me.
Translated by: Jovanka
September 8, 2010