POEM TO BE READ AND SUNG / César Vallejo
I know there is a person
Who looks for me in her hand, day and night,
finding me, every minute, in her shoes.
Doesn't she know that the night is buried
with spurs behind the kitchen?
I know there is a person composed of my parts,
to whom I fuse when my waist goes
galloping in its exact pebble.
Doesn't she know that the coin that appeared
with her portrait won't return to her coffer?
I know the day,
but the sun has escaped me;
I know the universal act she did in her bed
with another's courage and that warm water, whose
superficial frequency is a mine.
Is this person, perhaps, so small
that even her own feet step on her?
A cat forms the boundary between her and me,
right next to her share of water.
I see her on the corners, she opens and closes
her robe, earlier a questioning palm tree. . .
What can she do but change weeping?
But she looks and looks for me. It's a story!
7 September 1937
Translation © 1997 Mary Sarko
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