Force of Destiny

Álvaro Lasso

Translated from Spanish by Kelsi Vanada

Your parents were always together. They belonged to the same sidewalk. As kids they saw the same tanks and enjoyed, in faded colors, the electricity-less evenings. When they met, they were efficient: they didn’t need metaphors.

When they were told to choose, they said, “No way.”

In contrast, we climbed up to the roof of a hotel to celebrate our insomnia, and we signed a contract. Talked every night so we could fall out of the flow of time. The strike’s getting closer, I sniff it like I do love. We’ll have to choose, like them. I don’t know if your mother will let you go outside with me.

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.