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This afternoon it rains as never before; and I
don't feel like staying alive, heart.

This afternoon is sweet. Why shouldn't it be?
It's dressed in grace and sorrow, dressed like a woman.

This afternoon it's raining in Lima. And I remember
the cruel caverns of my ingratitude;
my chunk of ice on her poppy,
harsher than her 'Don't be like that.

My violent black flowers; the savage
outrageous lashing out; and the glacial distance.
And the silence of her dignity will brand
the final period with blazing oil.

That's why this afternoon, as never before, I walk
owl-like, with such a heart.

And others go by, and seeing me so sad,
they sense a little of you
in the craggy furrows of my deep misery.

This afternoon it rains and rains. And I
don't feel like staying alive, heart.


César Vallejo, 1918
Translation by Sandy McKinney

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De la tierra
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