I STAYED ON TO HEAT THE INK / César Vallejo
I stayed on to heat the ink in which I am drowning
and to listen to my alternative cavern,
nights of touch, days of abstraction.
The unknown trembled in my tonsil,
and I rustled from an annual melancholy,
nights of sun, days of moon, sunsets of Paris.
And still, on this very day, as it gets dark,
I digest sacred certainties,
nights of mother, days of great-granddaughter,
bicolored, voluptuous, urgent, pretty.
I reach, I arrive at myself in an airplane with two seats,
beneath the domestic morning and the mist
that emerged eternally from an instant.
at the end of the comet in which I have earned
my happy and doctoral bacillus,
here it is that heated, listening, earthlike, sun and moonlike,
I travel incognito through the cemetery,
turn to the left, splitting
the grass with a pair of hendecasyllables,
years of tomb, liters of infinity,
ink, pen, bricks and pardons.
24 September 1937
Translation © 1997 Mary Sarko
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