In the Meantime / Mientras llega

Translated by Gustavo Pérez Firmat

Keep our love to yourself. All of it.

With its fire quenched by the drizzle

of time. With its buzz imperceptible

to the rest of the world. With its magic,

black or white (depending). A broken,

dilapidated love, a sofa without springs.

Lie on it to wait for death. In the meantime,

allow your memories of me to devour you.


This translation first appeared in the Spring 2022 issue of the North American Review and was included in Best Literary Translations 2024. Read Jack Rockwell’s review of the anthology here


Gustavo Pérez Firmat



Gustavo Pérez Firmat has published several books of poetry in Spanish and English, among them Sin lengua, deslenguado and Bilingual Blues, and My Favorite Monster, his translation of selected poems by contemporary Spanish poet Luis Alberto de Cuenca, was published in January, 2024. His books of cultural criticism include Life on the Hyphen and Tongue Ties. He is the David Feinson Professor Emeritus of Humanities at Columbia University.