Poem to be Read and Sung
I know there is someone
who looks for me in her hand, day and night,
meeting me each minute in her shoes.
Doesn’t she know night is buried,
spurs worn behind, in the kitchen?
I know there is someone composed of my parts,
with whom I integrate when my waist
goes horseback across her exact pebble.
Doesn’t she know it won’t come back to her box,
the coin that came out with her portrait.
I know the day,
but the sun has escaped me;
I know the universal act she did in her bed
with someone else’s courage and warm water, whose
surface frequency is a mine.
Is this someone perhaps so small
even her own feet step on her?
A cat is the boundary between her and me,
right beside her portion of water.
I see her in the corners, her robe opening and
closing; it was once a questioning palm tree…
What can she do but exchange her crying?
But she looks for me and looks for me. It’s a story!
César Vallejo, “Poema Para Ser Leído Y Cantado”
Translation by Jack Hayes
Image links to its source on Wiki Commons:
“Leitungsstangen” (“Utility Poles”): Paul Klee. 1913