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Poetry

They Began to Call You

Translated from Spanish

They began to call you, the rocks, breathing,
their innumerable visages, their gesticulant
throbbing,
from the cliff face. You could see
the entrance of the cave and you knew. Totems
fusing together. One
respiration over another. It's for you. And what could it
have been?
And what would they have won from you and for what?
But you didn't enter, only
stood there taking it in.

Translations of “Comenzaron a llamarte,” “Los cuartos no son como deben ser,” and “Entre estas ruinas.” From Firefly under the Tongue. Copyright 2008 by New Directions. By arrangement with the publisher. All rights reserved.

English

They began to call you, the rocks, breathing,
their innumerable visages, their gesticulant
throbbing,
from the cliff face. You could see
the entrance of the cave and you knew. Totems
fusing together. One
respiration over another. It's for you. And what could it
have been?
And what would they have won from you and for what?
But you didn't enter, only
stood there taking it in.

Translations of “Comenzaron a llamarte,” “Los cuartos no son como deben ser,” and “Entre estas ruinas.” From Firefly under the Tongue. Copyright 2008 by New Directions. By arrangement with the publisher. All rights reserved.