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To Diego Buigas de Dalmáu

They are seen from the verandahs
on the mountain, mountain, mountain,
mules and mules’ shadows
weighed down with sunflowers.

Their eyes in the shadows
are dulled by immense night.
Salt-laden dawn rustles
in the corners of the breeze.

A sky of white mules
closes its reflective eyes,
granting the quiet half-light
a heart-filled ending.
And the water turns cold
so no-one touches it.
Water maddened and exposed
on the mountain, mountain, mountain.


Saint Michael, covered in lace,
shows his lovely thighs,
in his tower room,
encircled by lanterns.

The Archangel, domesticated,
in the twelve-o-clock gesture,
pretends to a sweet anger
of plumage and nightingales.
Saint Michael sings in the glass,
effeminate one, of three thousand nights,
fragrant with eau de cologne,
and far from the flowers.


The sea dances on the sands,
a poem of balconies.
The shores of the moonlight
lose reeds, gain voices.
Field-hands are coming
eating sunflower seeds,
backsides large and dark
like planets of copper.
Tall gentlemen come by
and ladies with sad deportment,
dark-haired with nostalgia
for a past of nightingales.
And the Bishop of Manila,
blind with saffron, and poor,
speaks a two-sided mass
for the women and the men.


Saint Michael is motionless
in the bedroom of his tower,
his petticoats encrusted
with spangles and brocades.

Saint Michael, king of globes,
and odd numbers,
in the Berberesque delicacy
of cries and windowed balconies.


Federico García Lorca, 1928
Translation by A. S. Kline

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