The Ram’s Lament


The Ram’s Lament by Antonio Romero


Terror begins as a blank page. Memory spills its blood in exchange for ours. The years spew out worthless ambition. An ambition to find myself on the other side of this wreckage. Mother, do you hear me? I write this to you upon a tombstone engraved with the names of your children and the names of the grandchildren you will never be able to meet. Nothing. Nothing makes sense. There is no hand that will cover my shame, there is no throbbing heartbeat that will hide my death. I mourn myself as I am pained by your pain. I lament myself as I cry your cry. Terror begins in the shudder of a beehive, a tongue sliding down your back, a whistle traversing bones, pancreas, liver, lungs. I have arrived to pay my respects to your remains and to the remains of my childhood, to watch myself devoured by mirrors and to have my sight swallowed by your song. Again, I am born into two white, cold gloves, born defeated in this earth, born into the shrill aroma of sadness. I write to you from here, mother, from inside your womb and from my own renunciation. This hurt won’t make the papers. It won’t be worthy of compassion or of a great poem. This hurt won’t measure up to the void, nor will it even begin to fathom the landscape of my solitude. I've been alone since before you left: since my father was hated by his father, who ended their games with a kick in the ribs. Terror begins as a cross drawn against my throat, an abyss soiled with the colors of shipwreck, a rain-ravaged boat leaning on the shores of winter.

Trans. by Janel Pineda