Illustration: Ansellia Kulikku. Image source: The British Library.

We should recount something says the patriarch
while the north side’s mausoleums leak
and the dogs without instinct disappear
at midday
among the one hundred and fifty steps
that lead to the sand pits

Later the patriarch explains
that everything is a particle
of dead star
and meadows are reflections
of sky
and the horizon a lengthy and widespread
illusion of readymade phrases

All of us are animals
with good manners at the end of the day

The truth is that I am Percival
lance drawn and mane in the wind

A wet beast with protruding eyes
and a hunting satchel
in the middle of the pavement

Sometimes what happens is the waves
fling themselves on the beach without spectators
or a stage

And I see the Land from behind lace curtains
like a great rock
falling apart and without belongings

So now there’s no one left
from the climb or the descent
that can tell me if I am here
or on the other side in the desert

Robert Keiser

Robert Keiser’s poetry has appeared in the Rattle Poets Respond series and The Three Rivers Review, among others. He got to know the work of Greta Montero during the readings hosted by Ediciones Inubicalistas. In 2018 he will work as a Fulbright grantee in Belém, Brazil.

Greta Montero

Greta Montero (Coronel, Chile, 1986) is the author of the books of poetry Dummies (2013) and Balada del Señor Cuervo (2016). She received her master’s in Latin American Literature from the University of Santiago of Chile and her PhD in Chilean and Hispanic American Literature from the University of Chile. Her work has been anthologized in several collections, such as 1.000 millones, poesía en la lengua española del siglo XXI (Editorial Municipal de Rosario, Argentina, 2014). She is a professor of literature.