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a Lydia Cabrera y a su negrita

... so I walked her down to the river.
I was really the first, she said
forgetting the fact of a husband.
On the night of the patron of Spain
I was merely trying to oblige.
As the streetlamps all went black and
crickets came afire.
When we reached the end of the sidewalk
I touched her breasts: sleeping.
They blossomed for me promptly,
no hyacinth so sweet.
The slip she wore, starched cotton,
hissed in my ear excitement.
As a piece of silk would, ripped to
ribbons by ten knives.
No silver catching the branches,
the trees loomed enormous.
And a skyline of hounds yowling
very far from the shore.

Passing the blackberry bushes,
passing the reeds and the bracken,
under her cover of hair I
scooped a hole in the clay.
I unfastened my necktie.
She unfastened her skirt.
I, my belt and revolver.
She, her petticoats - four.
Neither camellia, seashell
such delight to the finger.
Never a moon on water
shone as she did then.

Her thighs in my clutch, elusive
as bass you catch bare-handed.
Half, they were fire and splendor;
chilly as winter, half.
That night I went riding
the finest of all our journeys,
fast on a filly of pearl, that
never knew stirrup or curb!
I'm man enough not to be breathing
certain words she uttered.
I'm a clean straight-thinking fellow
with a decent tongue in love.
She was slubbered with kisses and sand
when I took her home from the river.
The air was a melee of sabers:
lilies raged at the wind.

I behaved like the man I am:
hundred-percent gypsy.
And presented her with a saffron
satiny case, de luxe.
But for falling in love? - not me!
She with a husband, yet
to say I was really the first
as I walked her down to the river!


Federico García Lorca, 1928
Translation by John Frederick Nims

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Ilustración Ilustración
Voz: Margarita Xirgú Voz: Margarita Xirgú
Voz Miguel Herrero Voice: Miguel Herrero
inglés Translation by A. S. Kline
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