BLACK STONE LYING ON A WHITE STONE
I will die in Paris, on a rainy day,
on some day I can already remember.
I will die in Paris — and I don't step aside —
perhaps on a Thursday, as today is Thursday, in autumn.
It will be a Thursday, because today, Thursday, setting down
these lines, I have put my upper arm bones on
wrong, and never so much as today have I found myself
with all the road ahead of me, alone.
Cesar Vallejo is dead. Everyone beat him,
although he never does anything to them;
they beat him hard with a stick and hard also
with a rope. These are the witnesses:
the Thursdays, and the bones of my arms,
the solitude, and the rain, and the roads.
Translation by Robert Bly and John Knoepfle