Facing Love and The United States and Death, in That Order / Orlando Luis Pardo Lazo

There is a photo of Raul Castro so very young. He is tying a rag around the eyes of a Cuban they are going to kill. They’re in a grove of trees. The night is so pretty and the Revolution so young.

Today it is night again. The deep night of the world. We are all tied to the mast of an island that isn’t about to sink, with our eyes covered with that same rag that does not let us see the essential. Death.

I arrive home devastated. It’s the depths of night. Drizzling. I’ve spent weeks crying for no reason. For joy, for sorrow, for being real. My mother sleeps. Her mouth open as if she were dead. Breathing from the depths of her ribcage. It’s the last throes of winter. It’s March, soon it will be spring and the solar radiation will survive terribly in this country.

The United States is stuck in my head. Leaking. A limitless line. An illusion of I couldn’t say what (the illusion is always this, impossible to name). My heart is not leaving Cuba. It is in Cuba where I love my love. If you like, I can direct myself mentally to our end-stage President (in five years he should kill himself), you can put me in the eyes of that seller of lies and then kill me for real. I love to love my love in Cuba and would wait here for the day of resurrection of all the dead, when the security forces will go into the street to kill in cold blood and out of pure envy that no one survives them.

In the kitchen, a pan with a steak. It’s the ultimate test. No gourmet restaurant in the free world could offer me such plenitude. The grease on the lid, the badly cut meat, a couple of peppers, fat and suspiciously hued, the smell of the gas balloon (a blue mystery that burns orange), and my cats will die of sadness without me and will be so gentle that there won’t be the slightest complaint (except in their eyes). I am free. And so I love you so much my love, because my freedom is atrocious and authorizes me to love better than anyone in history my love.

In the United States are there pans with lids ingrained with the grime of successive family meals? In the United Stats is there barbarically cut meat, with the intimate flavor that is almost like a conversation where life and death turn out to be our contemporaries (I don’t know which side I’m on)? In the United States are there cats that speak of a coup with their pupils?

I’m sorry. I’m going to be old, I suppose. In fact, I am witness to an era that thankfully disappeared. That started with an execution at the hands of the last president of the Revolution, that ended when he had my death again on his hands. I’m ready, as the slogans of our childhood said. Barbarism is my human realm, too human for me to risk a civil life. Here I am beautiful and good, with no need to triumph. I have the word, albeit ephemeral. And my body, albeit eternal.

The United States will be removing my head. There is nowhere to flee. No limitless biography. The illusion is this, illusion. My heart will not move, Cuba will be its scaffold. They kill, if they are going to kill, the slaughterers. Also my mother killed and served me this tortured flesh, and I ate it like an ancestral blessing.

I am alive until dementia. Not delirium, but I don’t recognize myself. Leave me alone, I’m home. My love needs to continue loving from now to eternity (forgive the redundancy).

March 2 2013