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She was more beautiful than the sun
and I wasn't even 16 years old
24 have passed
and she's still at my side

Sometimes I see her walking
over the mountains: she's the guardian angel
of our prayers.
She's the dream that recurs

with the promise and the whistle.
The whistle that calls us
and loses us.
In her eyes I see the faces

of all my lost loves.
Oh, Muse, protect me, I say to her,
on the terrible days
of the ceaseless adventure.

Never pull away from me.
Take care of my steps and the steps
of my son Lautaro.
Let me feel your fingertips once.

more over my spine,
pushing me, when everything is dark,
when everything is lost.
Let me hear the whistle again.

I am your faithful lover
though sometimes dreaming
pulls me away from you.
You're also the queen of those dreams.

You have my friendship every day
and someday
your friendship will draw me out of
the wasteland of forgetfulness.

So even if you come
when I go
you go.
I saw you in the hospitals

and in the line
of political prisioners.
I saw you in the terrible eyes
of Edna Lieberman

and in the alleys
of the gunmen.
And you always protected me!
In defeat and in triumph.

In unhealthy relationships
and in cruelty,
you were always with me.
And even if the years pass

and the Roberto Bolarño of la Alameda
and the Libreria de Cristal
is transformed,
is paralyzed,

becomes older and stupider
you'll stay just as beautiful.
More than the sun
and the stars.

Muse, wherever you
might go
I go
I follow your radiant trail

across the long night.
Not caring about years
or sickness.
Not caring about the pain

or the effort I must make
to follow you.
Because with you I can cross
the great desolate spaces

and I'll always find the door
leading back
to the Chimera,
because you're with me.

more beautiful than the sun
more beautiful
than the stars.

Roberto Bolaño
Translation from Laura Healy

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