barcelona review #11   february - march 1999

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author bio | spanish original

Juan Abreu

 The MILK from heaven.


He's on a strip of land where some old pines grow dispersely. The peeling trunks shake their transparent snake-like skins in the wind. A sticky slime oozes over them. To the right of him the sea has a compact grey, pallid tone, out beyond the cracked concrete breakwater. Out on the sea, brightly coloured sails skate along. To his left the forest rises up like a wall. Impenetrable, solid, in sharp contrast to the meagre strip of land, the pines erect, windblown, their branches jutting out, and the wide leaden plain of the sea. Between the pines and the forest stretches a stone field sprinkled with tufts of grass and sandy earth. Grass like old thinning hair on the spotted scalp of the world.
        He walks to the gazebo of dark wood where the piñata hangs from the rafters, gently pulls the strings the children will tug on. He checks that the height is right. Then he lifts the cardboard box covered with brightly coloured paper and tassles. Tests its weight. It has enough candies. All of the children will be happy. But it will be some time before the children come. It's still early, so early that the wetness of morning spreads across the park like a white cream. The dew glistens on the blades. A slight breeze batters clumsily through the scrub as if wounded. As if hunted by a larger beast.
        His wife, his children, the guests are late. As in previous years, he has taken care of everything. Hung up the piñata, tied the balloons, brought the plastic containers full of ice, the charcoal to cook the hamburgers and hot dogs. A silky centipede moves around his feet. The animal hurries across the wet concrete with a decided and ridiculous urgency that irritates the man who, stretching his leg with an almost casual movement, crushes it. When he lifts his shoe, the centipede is a greenish blotch speckled with golden down. He looks away to the far end of the park, to the place where his wife would appear or anyone else who wanted to reach that strip of land, that park with its line of gazebos, hemmed in between the edge of the trees and the sea. Nothing stirs. The solitude is so enormous that he sees it pressing toward him in the white mist of dawn squeezing its swollen breasts, dripping milk over the small stones on the path. He turns his eyes to the forest and sees the pines swayng insolently. He walks toward them. Above the tree tops he sees the stupid, luxurious, shining towers of the buildings on Brickell Avenue.


As he penetrates the thickness of the woods an ancient wetness envelops him. An eight-legged dragonfly with fibrous wings flies close to his head with a sharp humming sound. Lancing member erect, he drives down on his mate, piercing her with an audible rasp of his steaming weapon. Moving deeper in, he becomes aware that the leaves covering the forest floor are moving, as if they had a life of their own. Insects. Countless insects slither beneath the brownish humid mantle of rotting leaves. Some as delicate as angels, white, translucent, with their pumping hearts, their coiling intestines, stomachs in pulping action visible through their skins. Some as solid as stone, like chunks of steel, armoured, war machines that tear apart the weaker, slower ones with an oiled movement of their pincers. Some devour leaves, others pierce the surface boring tunnels through which they vanish under the earth. Very close, next to a tree, a snake pounces on a squirrel and struggles to swallow it. The forest seems to undulate, taking on the appearance of a great skin. A swarm of dark butterflies fans the air, staining the atmosphere. Little vipers like vibrating fingers hurl themselves from the tree branches to catch them in flight. Birds of various species fight over the butterflies and insects with the vipers, at times even swallowing them too. Legions of worms writhe under the fallen leaves drilling the soft earth. A long-legged black insect fornicates with his female, while she devours him. The man stops. He is on the edge of a small clearing where sunlight filters in as if through a skylight. The clearing is covered by a small patch of grass. From there it is impossible to see the man screened by the undergrowth. There in the light charged with infinitesimal drops of moisture, on the curling, hair-like grass, are two boys. One is crouching, his pants down, baring taut reddened cheeks, with long fuzz wet with sweat. The other, standing upright, penetrates him with a concentrated fury that seems to find an echo in the activity in the forest, in the busy comings and goings of the animals and the undulation of the plants. As the phallus thrusts in and out of the squatting boy's anus it makes a slurping sound that sends tremors up and down the man's spine. The crouched boy has his face pressed against the earth, his eyes wide open, a whitish, sticky liquid foaming through his tight-clenched teeth. The standing boy raises his face to the opening in the green roof and his expression declares an intense concentration. The motion of the two gets faster and faster, while the man stays frozen on the edge of the clearing. Perspiring now, he feels everything around him come to life. A sweaty dance. The insects screech as they penetrate each other, the birds, the leaves twist anxiously, trembling heatedly. The whole world takes on a rosy hue he doesn't recognize at first, then remembers having seen between the lips of his wife's sex. When he brings his face close to that half-open hole. The young man's purplish member, covered in a dirty drool, gains maximum speed and depth as the landscape begins to change. The man watches motionless. A wild cat leaps with some long rodent in its fangs. The rodent's head cracks and its eyes start from their sockets under the pressure of the predator's jaws. A sinuous reptile traps a dazzlingly plumed bird and starts to salivate over its wings. A great silence, itself a body, envelops the feverish activity of the forest. Then he feels his erect phallus growing, stretching his pants and forming a circle, as if guided by an invisible hand, thrusting into his own red and steaming sphincter. The man now twists in his own fluids and in the sticky substance that the earth sweats in its excitement, spattering gobs of come in all directions. A strange yearning runs through him as he withdraws, as he recoils into himself, still without taking his eyes off the two boys, as the lips of the world's vagina, where he is, open tremulously to receive the violent thrust of the infinite phallus of God.

© 1999 Juan Abreu
Translated from the spanish original   by Graham Thomson. Short interview (Spanish only)

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juanJJuan Abreu, writer, journalist and artist, was born in Havana, Cuba in 1952. He has published three books: Libro de las exhortaciones al amor, Habanera fue and A la sombra del mar: Jornadas cubanas con Reinaldo Arenas. He is currently working on a trilogy set in the future "but not science fiction," entitled Garbageland, from which the present selection is taken. He has been a columnist for Diario las Américas since 1990. His artwork can be found in public institutions and art galleries throughout the United States. He lives and works in the United States and Barcelona, Spain. If you wish to contact the author in English:

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