“Piedra negra sobre una piedra blanca”

Black Stone on a White Stone
by Cesar Abraham Vallejo Mendoza; translated by Guillermo Calvo Mahé (Translation © Guillermo Calvo Mahé; Ocala, Florida, 2006; all rights reserved)

I’ll die in Paris on a rainy day,
a day I already recall.
I’ll die in Paris, I’ll not run away,
perhaps on a Thursday, like today, in the Fall.

It’ll be a Thursday, because today, Thursday,
as I write this poem, my humeri have been badly set,
and, never have I seen myself as alone as I do today,
despite all the roads I’ve left.

César Vallejo has died.  All of them
beat him though he did none harm;
they beat him hard, with a club, and hard

with a cord as well;  there are witnesses:
the Thursdays and the humeri,
solitude, rain and the roads …

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