TRAGEDY OF THE CRAZED HORSES
To Marc Granell
Within my ears,
like machine gun fire,
I hear horses at full gallop,
in the night.
They raise dust and wind,
striking the ground,
their scorching hooves
as their tangled manes
wound the air,
as their fiery breath
spreads out like sheets.
Far off, very far off,
not even death holds them back,
they are desperate with fury
plunging into the sea
and crossing it like dolphins
wounded with sadness.
Stained with foam,
they run with the sweat of rutting salt,
and reach the other shore
and immediately leave it again,
when they have rolled on the ground, whinnying,
after ridding themselves of the foam
and covering themselves with sand.
Suddenly they stop. Another passion surrounds them.
Their step is gentle
and nevertheless unquiet,
their eyes glistening, foreseeing ambushes.
Liquid sweat that covered them
has suddenly turned to icy frost.
As they pull up, their hooves beat out an arpeggio
on the ground which disintegrates beneath them.
Now, as always, they have met the mares who indeed are expecting them,
and are gazing at them.
Now the only fury and flame that exists is love, the delight of the blood,
the rutting slaver, they snort as they mount their females.
And then it is the quaking of fifes, the sound of the bagpipes, the musical din
that announces the coming of death.
All fall silent. Teeth strike together and remain clenched.
It grows dark. Death swaddles them, they give themselves up
and suddenly as though in an empty shell, in my ears I hear
a collapse of furious hooves, a cloud of dust raised by manes,
a cataclysm of bones that the night undertakes to send to oblivion.
English Translation by Dave Oliphant