Leyendo a los otros / Juan Calzadilla

Reading Others

I learn from others no less
than what others learn from me.
I suppose by watching them, listening to them
daily, deciphering their faces like someone who reads
an old newspaper, observing how they administer
their habits, their gestures contaminated
by the city, alcohol, scars,
defeats, the lamp without a screen
at midnight amid gunshots,
insomnia and, finally, all the atrocities.

I learn strategies from people, with no
excuses. From me they also learn what belongs
to each of us. And reading my face they know me
and take no pity on me
and don’t forgive me.


Translator’s note: The anthology this poem is translated from is available for free as a PDF file from Monte Ávila Editores. See the link below.

{ Juan Calzadilla, Ecólogo de día feriado. Antología personal, Caracas: Monte Ávila Editores, 2006 }

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