Dregs

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This afternoon it is raining, as never before; and I
have no desire to live, my heart.

This afternoon is sweet. Why should it not be?
Dressed in grace and pain; dressed like a woman.

This afternoon in Lima it is raining. And I recall
the cruel caverns of my ingratitude;
my block of ice over her poppy,
stronger than her “Don’t be this way!”

My violent black flowers; and the barbaric
and terrible stoning; and the glacial distance.
And the silence of her dignity
with burning holy oils will put all end to it.

So this afternoon, as never before, I am
with this owl, with this heart.

Other women go by; and seeing me so sad,
they take on a bit of you
in the abrupt wrinkle of my deep remorse.

This afternoon it is raining, raining hard. And I
have no desire to live, my heart!

By César Vallejo

From: The Complete Poetry: A Bilingual Edition, by César Vallejo

Copyright ©: 2007, The University of California Press, (translated by Clayton Eshleman)

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