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In the bathrooms of nocturnal bars the mirrors answer the questions of the people. Is this city still mine? There are moments of fullness that deserve an affirmative response, because our eyes swim in the music and know the language of suggestion and happiness. But there is a day in which the bewitched mirror speaks to us of another world that was born without us, the beauty of a Snow White who provokes neither envy nor anger, only the definitive mark of a foreigner. That Granada has a different way of kissing, another way to drink, another way to dress, a different agenda, a night of new directions. The mirror tells the foreigner that the city is not his, and the foreigner understands the sinister age of the telephone numbers, the grass that sprouts in the ruined neutrality of mathematics, the distance that fits in a nearby name. There are crossed-out words that stare up at us from paper like we are stared at by a naked body from our memory.

The foreigner remains without city and imagines the footprints of his own oblivion, the number of times his name will have been erased from photographs.


Luis García Montero
Translation by Alice McAdams

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