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Words Without Borders is an inaugural Whiting Literary Magazine Prize winner!
from the January 2017 issue

Plamondon Metro

Metro Plamondon

Alejandro Saravia charts the life and death of a rookie dealer on the mean streets of Montreal

on a corner on avenue Decelles
a Caribbean man finds an abandoned mattress
where he can sleep
and dream that he speaks French and English
that he wears the best brands
that he owns 24-karat gold bracelets
that he has women to spare
and drives a brand-new Mercedes

drawn by the myth of the streets of gold
Santiago Nasar arrives on rue Barclay and becomes a pusher
in his pocket the niveous ecstasy that leads to knives
to anonymous overdose deaths in this part of Montreal

guided through the snow by the hunger for hundred-dollar bills
the clandestine sale of tiny bags of Disney World cocaine
his pocket full of bills and a knife sheath on his belt
he shoots a stealth look at pedestrians on rue Goyer
as he walks to the Plamondon metro dreaming of being a distributor
what the hell! why not an importer even, a big one

a quiet neighbor watches from his window
as Santiago falls, his throat split
the slash that spills on the snow
the crimson of his short life
a light vapor of blood on the snow
his pockets empty, someone steals his shoes
a body goes unclaimed
near the Plamondon metro

 

"Metro Plamondon" © Alejandro Saravia. By arrangement with the author. Translation © 2017 María José Gimenez. All rights reserved.

Metro Plamondon

en una esquina de la avenida Decelles
un caribeño encuentra un colchón abandonado
donde poder dormir
soñar que habla francés e inglés
que se viste con las mejores marcas
que tiene pulseras de oro de 24 quilates
que le sobran mujeres
y maneja un Mercedes último modelo

atraído por el mito de las calles de oro
a la calle Barclay llega Santiago Nasar que se hace pusher
en el bolsillo el níveo éxtasis que conduce a los cuchillos
a las anónimas muertes por sobredosis en esta parte de Montreal

guía sus pasos en la nieve el afán de juntar billetes de cien dólares
la venta clandestina de las diminutas bolsas de cocaína Disney World
el bolsillo lleno de billetes y al cinturón la funda de un cuchillo
mira furtivamente a los peatones en la calle Goyer
mientras camina hacia el metro Plamondon soñando con ser distribuidor
¡qué carajo!, mejor importador y de los grandes

un vecino observa callado desde una ventana
a Santiago caer con la garganta destazada
el navajazo que derrama sobre la nieve
el carmesí de su corta vida
un ligero vapor de la sangre sobre la nieve
los bolsillos vacíos, alguien le quita las zapatillas
un cuerpo que nadie reclama
por el metro Plamondon

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