Puerta De Golpe, Cuba

My mother would tell me that the whole village fled like a child until it was lost, that the feeling of fleeing hung in the air like incense and shook everyone’s bones until they cried out, that she gradually left it behind, hidden …

Two Poems by Heberto Padilla

HOUSES I can never avoid, at the most unlikely times, the vision of houses I lived in as a child. Some, I remember, were far from ugly, but I didn’t love them. I wanted to build a box-room, a wooden passageway with deep hiding places …

Three Poems by Heberto Padilla

SELF-PORTRAIT OF THE OTHER Are they shiverings, sicknesses, effusions, or instead these desires that a man at times has to shout aloud? I don’t know. I come back on stage. I walk toward the footlights like yesterday,    sharper than a squirrel, with …

Two Poems by Heberto Padilla

JUST BY OPENING YOUR EYES This garden, planted a few feet from the river, served as a shawl, against the raining wind, for this sick owl, cowering in the mud like a saboteur. And that mimosa branch, with the yellow flower, and the hidden …

Two Poems by Heberto Padilla

TRAVELERS I have here the garments of opulence, though more informal, more beautifully scandalous. University diplomas, enormous books written especially for the Sociology Departments of prestigious universities which have underwritten all the costs. They manage to get visas quickly. They get accurate …

Five Poems by Heberto Padilla

IN DIFFICULT TIMES They asked that man if they could take his time and join it to history. They asked for his hands, because in difficult times there is nothing better than a good pair of hands. They asked for his eyes that once …