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Para ir al infierno no hace falta cambiar de sitio ni postura
Rafael Alberti

Who knows the winds, who distantly
creates a voice in which to guard memory,
who knows his naked skin
like he knows the trace of his name,
and does not fear it, and accompanies it
beyond the winter pent up in his syllables,
who decides everything in a night,
suddenly, like a kiss,
who appears out of the fog on a bridge,
who rubs his fingers over his own emptiness,
who leaves the sea, who loses
the fear of becoming distant.

In the weakened
purple shadow of the waves,
where go sinking with the port
the ancient signposts and lights,
there will float waiting
new conversations in the water.
They will be the forced disillusion
that falls from the rigging with the breeze,
returning to memory
the tempest of speech
or words split like masts.
Because dreams leave
debris like shipwrecks,
with wood and bodies sunken in the sheets,
full of dominated freedom.

It is not the unclean city
that pushes the candles. Neither does the heart,
primitive cabin of desire,
adventure in ignited islands
where the sea hides its ruins,
seaweed of Baudelaire, foam and silences.
It is necessity, the solitary
necessity of man,
that brings us to shelter,
that makes us tremble, live in bodies
that resist the voice of sirens

tethered to the bow,
with the wheel turning between their hands.

Move away from there, let us go far,
without the illusion that calls desperately,
without the pain that takes on decency.
Skin, my skin, the winds
have asked so much on the shores,
so much have they crashed like stars over cities and chests,
that they do not know motherlands nor do they sing of them,
they do not remember nations,
only dreams.

I know their return
is ours without a doubt. Because with a human voice,
like old sailors,
over the blurred pain of their backs,
they will return to tell us:
                            it is time,
let us return with the tide.

The courage and force of twilight
will carry you to the bottom of what is already known,
and we will see warships over the black puddles,
but the cleaved silhouette of a child
will be neither fragile nor weary.

In this way, after the journey,
surprised and mute before the ghost,
while rise slowly with the port
the ancient signposts and lights,
we will hear the song of those who arrive,
of those who step ashore when they have been
expected for many days.

And the sea, the sea sweet and so tragic,
subjected to its own distance,
will know how to leave written
that the journey was never our treasure,
nor was it the famous pain of poems,
but the dreams placed in the street,
the beds and the sea's mist,
the awakening from so many long nights
where we could only presage,
speak of desire in the shadows.

Beside your hair, capital of the winds,
history in two, the noise of tears,
they must be the necessary past,
remote mystery,
things to tell after some years,
if someone asks about us.

And yet, and necessarily,
between the low night and this house
where I am wont to write,
I will await the lips
that with a strange call ask me again:

Prison of love, for whom do you carry
one man of glass and the other of oblivion?


Luis García Montero
Translation by Alice McAdams

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