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César Vallejo
translated by Rebecca Seiferle

Tonight, my clock pants,
next to my darkened temple, like
the apple of a revolver that turns
the trigger without finding the bullet.

The moon, white, motionless, weeps,
and is an eye that takes aim...And I feel
how the great Mystery is coined into an idea,
hostile and ovoid, into a bright red bullet.

Ah, hand that limits, that threatens
behind all the doors, and that breathes
in all the clocks, give up and get lost!

Above the grey spider of your skeleton,
another great Hand, made of light, sustains
a bullet in the blue shape of a heart.

From The Black Heralds by César Vallejo. Translation © Rebecca Seiferle, 2002.


En esta noche mi reloj jadea
junto a la sien oscurecida, como
manzana de revólver que voltea
bajo el gatillo sin hallar el plomo.

La luna blanca, inmóvil, lagrimea,
y es un ojo que apunta...Y siento cómo
se acuña el gran Misterio en una idea
hostil y ovóidea, en un bermejo plomo.

¡Ah, mano que limita, que amenaza
tras de todas las puertas, y que alienta
en todos los relojes, cede y pasa!

Sobre la araña gris de tu armazón,
otra gran Mano hecha de luz sustenta
un plomo en forma azul de corazón.

Return to Recurrence in Another Tongue:
An Anthology of Translations

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