Mario Meléndez



Una vaca pasta en nuestra memoria
la sangre escapa de las ubres
el paisaje es muerto de un disparo

La vaca insiste con su rutina
su cola espanta el aburrimiento
el paisaje resucita en cámara lenta

La vaca abandona el paisaje
continuamos escuchando los mugidos
nuestra memoria pasta ahora
en esa inmensa soledad

El paisaje deja nuestra memoria
las palabras cambian de nombre
nos quedamos llorando
sobre la página en blanco

La vaca pasta ahora en el vacío
las palabras están montadas sobre ella
el lenguaje se burla de nosotros


Translated by Ron Hudson

I must be careful of the worms
when they bury me
most certainly
they will speak badly of me
they will spit on my poems
and urinate on the fresh flowers
that will adorn my tomb
it may well be the case
that  they even devour my bones
tear out my intestines
or at the height of injustice
rob my gold tooth
and all this because in life
never did I write about them


Translated by Ron Hudson

Let out the Guayasamín that each of us holds within
let out the Indian among the stones, marrow to marrow
the great precipice that we are, the great equatorial wound
and that which falls from the eye to the sky, and that which wrinkles the air
and that which comes out of ourselves like a deformed rose
and that which itches most inside, let it out
let out the thunder, the gust of wind, the bolt of lightning
the furious and one-eyed thread that watches the soul bleed
and here, in this burning jail that is this mourning America 
still are pending the names of those nailed hands
of those hopeless feet, of those bones of smoke
of that dream hurled into the great coffin of fear
or simply of the tree with its infinitely dry branches
Because we are not dead, we are not
and there is one who now jumps over the sabers
and there is one who drinks fire and carries wings of ash
and there is one who splinters the river with his universal cranium
and there is one who says I, I am the Indian among the stones 
And all the human horror is extinguished in my body
And I have tears and misery
And my heart like a drunken moon
and my skeleton asleep, and my jaw stiff
and at my ear roars the dog of the rotting nights 
and to my mouth rolls the kiss of the anguish that kills
And I paint, I paint with my voice and with my packed fingernails
I paint with my oxygen the scar of the wind
I scratch the curséd stabbing of the centuries
I submerge myself in the fatal acid of the Andean pupils
I undress the memory of the gloomy skull
and in me survive guts cut to the quick
and each scream am I, each cheek born of the scream
each fatal sigh and its needle origin
each woman, each man
each animal fallen in the dramatic spine
each and every one of them
And everywhere life like a bitter sun
and I, inflated with colors
close my wings and sleep on the sadness