by Roberto Bolaño

When Lisa told me she had made love
with another, in the eternal telephone booth of life
in the market in Tepeyac, I thought the world
ended. A tall thin man with
long hair and a long cock, didn’t wait even
one night to penetrate her to the core.
It’s nothing serious, she said, but it
is the best way of getting you out of my life.
Parmenides Garcia Saldana had long hair and could
have been Lisa’s lover, but some
years later I saw he’d died in a mental hospital
or committed suicide. Lisa didn’t want
to lie any longer with losers. Sometimes I dream
of her and see her happy and cold in Mexico
designed by Lovecraft: We listen to music
(Canned Heat, one of Parmenides Garcia Saldana’s
favorite groups) and then we make
love three times. The first time he comes inside of me.
The second time inside my mouth, the third, hardly a thread
of water, a short fishing line, between my breasts. And all
of that in two hours, Lisa said. The two worst hours of my life,
I said from the other end of the line.

Translated by Mariela Griffor and B. H. Boston

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