30 September 2010

César Vallejo

[from César Vallejo's Trilce, tr. Clayton Eshleman, Wesleyan, 1992]


       Who would have told us that on a Sunday
like this, over arachnoid slopes
the shadow would rear completely frontal.
(A mollusc is attacking barren foundered eyes,
at the rate of two or more tantalean possibilities
against a half death rattle of remorseful blood).

       Then, not even the very back of the uninhabited
screen could wipe dry the arteries
extradosed with double neverthelesses.
As if they would have let us leave! As
if we weren't always meshed
at the two daily flanks of fatality!

       And how much we might have offended each other.
And yet how much we might have annoyed each other and
fought and made up again
and again.

       Who would have thought of such a Sunday,
when, dragging, six elbows are licking
this way, addled Mondayescent yolks.

       We might have pulled out against it, from under
the two wings of Love,
lustral third feathers, daggers,
new passages on oriental paper.
For today when we test if we even live,
almost a front at the most.

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