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Today no one has come to inquire,
nor have they wanted anything from me this afternoon.

I have not seen a single cemetery flower
in so happy a procession of lights.
Forgive me, Lord! I have died so little!

This afternoon everyone, everyone goes by
without asking or begging me anything.

And I do not know what it is they forget, and it is
heavy in my hands like something stolen.

I have come to the door,
and I want to shout at everyone:
—If you miss something, here it is!

Because in all the afternoons of this life,
I do not know how many doors are slammed on a face,
and my soul takes something that belongs to another.

Today nobody has come;
and today I have died so little in the afternoon!


César Vallejo, 1918
Translated by John Knoepfle, Hortense Carpentier and Janet Brof

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