Devórame Otro Vez, 1988

Álvaro Lasso

Translated from Spanish by Kelsi Vanada

Why do they keep kicking up all the dust in this house? Everyone’s celebrating something I don’t remember. At my height I can just see skirts tottering around with pants, stuck together like two bricks. I look down at beer bottle caps like islands floating in the desert. It’s just me and all my girl cousins. We’ve decided to play under the bed and we’re hiding. Then the door bursts open and we go silent. Above us, our aunt and uncle seem to be playing too, our aunt goes to pieces, it breaks off and our uncle is just breathing very fast, we don’t know what they’re doing but we sense they’re hugging and happy. Their game lasts for one song and then they go back to the party. My cousins look at each other through their giggles and coax me out of the darkness.

Kelsi Vanada is a poet and translator from Spanish and Swedish. Her translations include Damascus, Atlantis (Terra Nova Press, 2021), Into Muteness (Veliz Books, 2020) and The Eligible Age (Song Bridge Press, 2018), and she is the author of the poetry chapbook Rare Earth (Finishing Line Press, 2020). Kelsi is the Program Manager of the American Literary Translators Association (ALTA) in Tucson, Arizona.

Álvaro Lasso was born in Baku, Republic of Azerbaijan, in 1982. At ten months old, he was relocated to Peru. He is both founder and editor of Estruendomudo, an important independent publishing company in Latin America since 2004. Lasso has published three books: Dos niñas de Egon Schiele [Two of Egon Schiele’s Girls] (2006), The Astrud Gilberto Album (2010), and Izquierda Unida [United Left] (Celacanto 2015, La Bella Varsovia 2016, Overol 2018). He lives in Santiago, Chile.