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        XXVIII

You owe the south a letter, like history.

I wonder about you, about what now,
leaning on my shoulder, you would say to me
upon contemplating the careless passing
of people in the park, their outline
against the first light of winter,
when the cold slides along
the sick trunks of the trees.

I am lacking your opinions at my side,
while children yell and put on jackets,
walking like schoolchildren, and workers
speed up the necessary march
before maids, soldiers
that confuse their clothing
with the sick tones of winter.

I no longer know if you remember the hustle
of the distant stores, the women
bent over and clean with their baskets,
or the drink sellers,
the poor street market stalls
that sell lies
with the sick haste of habit.

And yet it exists, you tell me,
the south exists too in this park
taken by the cold, while pass
—like the collars of teenagers who wait—
raised questions,
stubborn hopes,
the sick secrets of the future.

autógrafo

Luis García Montero
Translation by Alice McAdams


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Book II
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