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To My Brother Miguel in memoriam

Brother, today I sit on the brick bench outside the house,

where you make a bottomless emptiness.

I remember we used to play at this hour of the day, and mama

would calm us: “There now, boys...”

Now I go hide

as before, from all these evening

prayers, and I hope that you will not find me.

In the parlor, the entrance hall, the corridors.

Later, you hide, and I do not find you.

I remember we made each other cry,

brother, in that game.

Miguel, you hid yourself

one night in August, nearly at daybreak,

but instead of laughing when you hid, you were sad.

And your other heart of those dead afternoons

is tired of looking and not finding you. And now

shadows fall on the soul.

Poem To Be Read And Sung

I know there is a person

Who looks for me day and night inside her hand,

and coming upon me, every minute, in her shoes.

Doesn't she know that the night is buried

with spurs behind the kitchen?

I know there is someone composed of my pieces,

whom I complete when my waist goes

galloping in her precise little stone.

Doesn't she know that money once out for her likeness

never returns to her trunk?

I know the day,

but the sun has escaped from me;

I know the universal act she performed in her bed

with some other woman's bravery and warm water,

whose shallow recurrence is a mine.

Is it possible this being is so small

even her own feet walk on her that way?

A cat is the border between us two,

right there beside her bowl of water.

I see her on the corners, her dress - once

an inquiring palm tree - opens and closes...

What can she do but change her style weeping?

But she does look and look for me. This is a real story!


Al fin de la batalla,

y muerto el combatiente, vino hacia él un hombre

y le dijo: «¡No mueras, te amo tanto!»

Pero el cadáver ¡ay! siguió muriendo.

Se le acercaron dos y repitiéronle:

«¡No nos dejes! ¡Valor! ¡Vuelve a la vida!»

Pero el cadáver ¡ay! siguió muriendo.

Acudieron a él veinte, cien, mil, quinientos mil,

clamando «¡Tanto amor y no poder nada contra la muerte!

Pero el cadáver ¡ay! siguió muriendo.

Le rodearon millones de individuos,

con un ruego común: «¡Quédate hermano!»

Pero el cadáver ¡ay! siguió muriendo.

Entonces todos los hombres de la tierra

le rodearon; les vio el cadáver triste, emocionado;

incorporóse lentamente,

abrazó al primer hombre; echóse a andar...


At the end of the battle,

and the combatant dead, a man came unto him

and said ‘Do not die, I love you so much!’

But the corpse, alas, kept on dying.

Two men approached and repeated:

‘Do not leave us! Be brave! Come back to life!’

But the corpse, alas, kept on dying.

Twenty, a hundred, a thousand, half a million came toward him,

shouting: ‘So much love, and nothing can be done against death!’

But the corpse, alas, kept on dying.

Millions of people surrounded him,

with one common plea: ‘Stay here, brother!’

But the corpse, alas, kept on dying.

Then, all the men of the earth

surrounded him; moved, the sad corpse looked at them;

he rose up slowly,

embraced the first man; started to walk . .

Translation : V. GIANUZZI & M. SMITH


Los heraldos negros

Hay golpes en la vida, tan fuertes... ¡Yo no sé!

Golpes como del odio de Dios; como si ante ellos,

la resaca de todo lo sufrido

se empozara en el alma... ¡Yo no sé!

Son pocos; pero son... Abren zanjas oscuras

en el rostro más fiero y en el lomo más fuerte.

Serán tal vez los potros de bárbaros Atilas;

o los heraldos negros que nos manda la Muerte.

Son las caídas hondas de los Cristos del alma

de alguna fe adorable que el Destino blasfema.

Esos golpes sangrientos son las crepitaciones

de algún pan que en la puerta del horno se nos quema.

Y el hombre... Pobre... ¡pobre! Vuelve los ojos, como

cuando por sobre el hombro nos llama una palmada;

vuelve los ojos locos, y todo lo vivido

se empoza, como charco de culpa, en la mirada.

Hay golpes en la vida, tan fuertes... ¡Yo no sé!

The black heralds

There are blows in life, so powerful . . . I don't know!

Blows as from God's hatred; as if before them,

the backlash of everything suffered

were to dam up in the soul ... I don't know!

They are few; but they are... They open dark furrows

in the fiercest face and in the strongest side.

Maybe they could be the horses of barbarous Attilas;

or the black heralds Death sends us.

They are the deep abysses of the soul's Christs,

of some revered faith Destiny blasphemes.

Those gory blows are the cracklings of a bread

that burns-up on us at the oven's door.

And man... Poor... poor! He turns his eyes,

as when a slap on the shoulder calls us;

he turns his crazed eyes, and everything lived

is dammed up, like a pond of guilt, in his gaze.

There are blows in life, so powerful . . . I don't know!