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To Ricardo de Alcázar


There’s no proof of existence
that is greater than this fate:
living without seeing you
and dying in your presence!
This limpid recognition:
loving what’s never been seen
and waiting for the unseen;
this falling with no landing
is the anguish of thinking
given I die I exist.


If you are there everywhere,
on land and in the water,
in the air encasing me
and in voracious fire;
if you go there everywhere,
traveling with me in my thoughts,
in the heaving of my breath
and in my blood’s disarray,
are you not, Death, in my life,
water, fire, dust and wind?


If I keep you imprisoned,
and caress you and hide you;
if I feed you in the depths
of my most intimate wound,
if my death gives you your life
and my frenzy such delights,
what will become of you, Death,
when, when I must leave this world,
untying this tangled knot,
you too will have to leave me?


Xavier Villaurrutia
Translated by Eliot Weinberger (fragments)

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