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Cecilia, Florence is full
of beggars, not beggars with violets
like me,
but austere counts with fallen capes,
retired generals, hitmen
dressed in mourning outside casinos
where crazed girls dream
in drunken stupor
of some white house shining
in the moon’s gardens.

the world is a table of wretched
tin, riddled with loneliness
and egotism,
the bleak deck of a ship
where a drunken man staggers
but does not fall,
mutters monosyllables
hanging from the railings
when everything everything turns upside down
and he doesn’t know if the sea is flying
or the exhausted stars have sunk
and it pains him to breathe
and he doesn’t know if he’s died
or just been born
because he can’t wake up
and he’s weeping.

Florence isn’t Damascus
or Morocco or Andalucia,
it’s a museum of pink stone
where I rot,
a monument to the loneliness
of art,
a mausoleum of yellow fever
convulsed by the insolent rain
of tourists.

And I’m exhausted from paddling against the flow.

And tonight in some dark way
demons surround me
as my blood shivers
and a sinister bird
crosses my forehead,
I’m nailed in the throat
by your joy
and the world is so large and wide
my love
that if you died
I couldn’t close your eyes
with a howl
or beat like a madman
against the closed door of your coffin,
from the other side of
this table of cheap tin
where I write
to stop myself dying
and so that you
won’t die.

barra azul

© 2009 Jorge Palma - -