The Los Monegros Desert [Desierto de los Monegros]

Monday, January 10, 2011

Translated from Spanish by Reginald Gibbons

The car in the shade of a shed,
and fringes of brown weeds at the wheels.

The midday sun beats down on asphalt
and desert sand, liquifies the glittering.
Two broken-mouthed walls,
a traffic sign,
sheet-metal debris and blown tires
are all there is to evoke
the time of man, the passing of it.

A water bottle and your ever darker sunglasses.
Suddenly, our passing through this place is
this hallucination of a landscape,
this ten minutes of disbelief,
this other kind of distance,
turning life too soon into memory.

You pour water over your head
and your hair tightens, darkens.
You open your eyes again
and your smile breaks this spell,
this menace, this passing parenthesis
that throbs with the air.
Strong, you shake all this off
with a grimace, and yes you resist it.

The car—drawn by a destination
that calls to us without even knowing who we are—
lurches forward, leaving ruts on the shoulder.
All that’s left is this light,
the pinpoint of the minute-hand of August
that pierces everything it touches,
far beyond us.


Saturday, January 1, 2011