Am completely and utterly excited about the latest edition of Hermano Cerdo online. It’s a Mexican literary journal run by the incomparable Mauricio Salvador, and I’m thrilled that Garth Risk Hallberg got me involved.
You can go there to read the full text of my story “Hombres Callados” (beautifully translated by Begoña Mansilla), but here are a few teasers–double-agent excerpts that have gone through Google Translator to find their way back into English. I think it’s quite possible this twice-translated version is better than the original.
From the middle:
All we seemed interesting, the edges of the road, full of possibilities. The cardboard signs advertising vegetables grown on farms we wondered: What if these strawberries are the best ever prove?
We stopped beside a warped wooden stand and grabbed a flimsy baskets. We choose our own fruit and wash with a hose nozzle dirty. He bent to drink the rusty side. I wanted to be totally within our moments, but I felt slipping away from them, taking notes: the hose was green military, our fingers the color of blood and sticky with the juice. The man had paid a single thumb. Look where you looked there was something extraordinary. It seemed impossible that could last and impossible not to do, and meanwhile the hose water dripped from her chin rough, brushed my lips as I bent to kiss her neck.
And the end:
We sit like children of primary school, barely touching. Neither spoke. I pointed to the couple and observe while diapering her baby off the evening lights of the city. I noticed how the summer is decomposed into objects that I fit in the palm of a hand and a bent cigarette sweet corn cake smoking, my own tombstone carved in cold chocolate fumes. Puta put a note and a note put What? There was ash speckled jackets in all those days, and bottles of Coca-Cola collecting rain. I had a glass and broke. A moth crushed and died. I had a month but ended. I had a heart. Still is.