Color of ancient garments. A July in shadow
and an August newly mowed. And one
hand of water that grafted rotten fruit
onto the resinous pine of tedium.
Now you've dropped anchor, dark garment,
sprayed with a gorgeous fragrance, you change
into time, abbreviation...And I've already sung
the feast of evil inclinations that sank.
But can't you prevail, Lord, against death,
against the limit, against that which ends?
Ay! The wound the color of ancient garments
how it opens halfway and smells of burnt honey!
O sublime unity! O that which is one for all!
Love against space and against time!
Sole beat of the heart;
sole rhythm: God!
And as the limits shrug their shoulders
in harsh irreducible scorn,
there's a shower of serpents
upon the virgin plenitude of I.
A furrow, a shadow!
César Vallejo, 1918
Translated by Rebecca Seiferle