Roberto Bolaño: “Lisa”


When Lisa told me that she had made love
with someone else, in an empty phone booth
in that Tepeyac warehouse, I thought the world
would come to an end for me. Some tall, skinny guy
with long hair and a long cock, who didn’t wait
more than one date to stick it deep inside her.
It was nothing serious, she said, it’s just
the best way I know to get you out of my life.
Parménides García Saldaña had long hair
and might have been her lover, but some years later
I learned he’d already died in a psych clinic,
or committed suicide. Lisa didn’t want to sleep
with losers anymore. Sometimes I dream
of her and see her happy and cold in a Mexico
imagined by Lovecraft. We listened to music
(Canned Heat, one of Parménides García Saldaña’s
favorite bands) and then we made love three times.
The first he came in me, the second he came
in my mouth, and the third just a thread of water,
like a short fishing line between my breasts. And all
in two hours, said Lisa. The worst two hours of my life,
I said, from the other side of the phone.

Roberto Bolaño

Translated from Spanish by Paul Weinfield, © 2016

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