The rain ignites the words of the dead in my house

La lluvia incendia las palabras de los muertos de mi casa written by Alvaro Solís
Translated from the Spanish by Marlen Zaragoza


My grandmother has left for another place
and she has forgotten her body in bed
next to the oxygen tank.

My grandmother has left for another place
—I don’t know where—
she looks at me from another corner
and from the other corner she asks me
What is your name, Sir?


My grandmother agonizes under the sheets,
she talks to people no one can see.
She tells Paloma to set the table
and scolds the invisible children who run through the living room.

The words of the dead in the house
my grandmother hears them,
perhaps in the dream we are her ghosts.
She agonizes under the dark sheets of her room,
she walks no more, the corpse of my grandmother
still breathing does not scold any longer.

But there are days when the rain does not inconvenience her memories
and she calls me, asks me to help her sit, to touch her face,
she says that she wants to dance on the beach again,
she has more than enough time to go party by the sea.

All of a sudden as the window closes my grandmother
greets the man who is holding her hands,
the man in white who has come for her with oars on his
“Clear the table, Paloma, the children ate already,
don’t forget to water the plants before you go home”
Shouts my grandmother with her last breath.