if only images were enough in themselves
but what they say is and should be
something else entirely

of the business owner who loves even the smell of the bills
he rubs them against his snout and eyelids like an artist does caressing fashionable
theories nothing bad if he could keep his eyes half-open and his nose
partially clear
like this day in the port

a cargo ship grows bigger just as the afternoon loses definition
and picks up two thousand refugees

this is about two friends talking of something else
as they enjoy the images they deal in     comics or baseball cards
including the last one needed to complete the set
photos of the weekend at the beach     a family birthday
if not forgettable     of ex-girlfriends who now acquire another appeal
with the passage of time and under the smoke     of the grill or a cigarette
the sales catalogue full of cars they’ll never be able to afford     of pinups
or another bagatelle of memories
and the memory can be immediate

this could also be about a mother and a son
or just one of the friends whispering to himself
while his images get misplaced     thrown into and out of a hotel
of the city where he lived all his life

it was a question of paying for the plane ticket     buying
the gaze of a god compelled to leave his neighborhood

of black birds embalmed on a small sketch of offices
in which you are a point     you elongate in pajamas and the wind elevates them     you laugh
and when you laugh
you hang the sky like a sheet
the sky that doesn’t fly because it doesn’t pay for a ticket and i

look at the entire country from above     a cleavage
whose nipple appears although maybe it isn’t at all
the enemy     swarms between continuous lights
streets     or discontinuous     you arrive turn on turn off go out
again     the city’s a motherboard     of love yours passed over under a tree
that green question with plugs that won’t leave the computer
like another office worker from her house if it’s dark     the green is the dark it’s the
the plugs discontinuous spotlights     you arrive turn on turn off go out
again the battery and the fan are stadiums there behind the wing
apartment blocks the keyholes     partially cloudy and
how stop hoping so as to not suffer disappointments
if they’re inevitable
clouds when the leaves are below
which they catch as they fall your father with your brother
tumbling in their dry mountain

your mother entered rain running between the sheets
you see them in front of you     and like them     you laugh

the planets a boy thinks facing his empty plate

times when he’s only bone and flesh times when he isn’t
when a mirror is being moved does it move the one it reflects

that’s the one he’s looking for and resembles
if he aspires to the footprint of a footprint left by the sea where a dog has passed

a cat they threw out take care of it watches him and watches
the rain vanquish the smog we should shovel like mud

places at the table forbidden to relieve the spaces that departures leave
no more plates like planets like

the shadow cat in the window
cracks the cement like grass not explosives

credit little goat kids chase it as if their life was going away with it
and it’s true so many legs have to be forgotten two that follow on their knees

and on their knees in the line at the bank the clinic even with no children left
most faithful to his past is he who doesn’t try to get it back

to do what you en
joyless impediment at what age do things separate from pleasure

like rocking the boat in kindergarten from one bell to the other
the boat didn’t rock well when pushed by just one

the skin is a bassoon case shoes spell out the stairs
those who believe in their hearts what they’re reading move their lips when they do

not the one who satisfies him but who keeps him wanting
to look at the earth there’s no need to lower our gaze nor raise it to see the sky

he tells him so that he’ll encounter plants other than his feet other
palms than those of his planets

it’s not about safeguarding lives but discovering bodies
fishermen know this binding themselves to their boats as the storm thickens

Enrique Winter
Translated from the Spanish by David McLoghlin