8.14.2005

no criminal intention--just a bad crush

But before all this
happiness ends, lose it heading it off,
take its measure, in case it exceeds your gesture; exceed it,
see if it fits stretched in your extension.

I know it well by its key,
even if I don't know, at times, if this happiness
walks alone, leaned on your misfortune
or drummed, just to please you, on your phalanhes.
I know well it is unique, alone
with solitary wisdom.

In your ear the cartilage looks beautiful
and so I write you, I meditate you:
don't forget in your dream to think that you are happy,
that happiness is a profound fact, when it ends,
but upon arriving it acquires
the chaotic odor of a dead horn.

Whistling at your death,
hat rakishly tilted,
white, you sway to win your battle of the stairs,
soldier of the stalk, philosopher of the grain, mechanic of the dream.
(Do you perceive me, animal?
do you find my size comparable to yours?
You do not answer and silent you look at me
across the age of your word.)

Swaying your happiness like this, your tongue
will again cry for it, will again dismiss it,
happiness too unfortunate to last.
Instead, it will end violently,
perforated, a flintified print,
and afterwards you will hear how I meditate
and afterwards you will touch how your shadow is my own undressed
and afterwards you will smell how I have suffered.


[C├ęsar Vallejo, in
The Complete Posthumous Poetry]

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