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        XXV

Remember that you exist only in this book,

that you are alive thanks to my ghosts,
to the passion I inject in every verse
in order to remember the air you breathe,
the clothes you put on and I take off,
the taxis in which you travel every night
(siren and heart of the cab drivers),
the drinks you share in bars
with people who live on those counters.
Remember that I wait for you on the other side
of the train tracks when you arrive late,
that the telephone, uncomfortable sentry,
becomes a guest without news,
that there is an empty rumble of elevators
complaining alone, convening
as they lift or lower your nostalgia.
Remember that my kingdom is the doubts
of this city that has nothing but haste,
and that freedom, terrible swan,
is not the nocturnal bird of dreams,
it is complicity, toughness
wounded by the sword that forces us
to know we are literary characters,
true lies, false truths.

Remember that I exist only because this book exists,
that I can kill us both by ripping a page.

autógrafo

Luis García Montero
Translation by Alice McAdams


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Book I
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