La caída / Ramón Palomares

The Fall

                                                                           To Don Domingo

They were exceedingly content amidst so many flowers
so that everything seemed like pearls to them:
The moon, churches, it was like pouring wine into their mouths
They drank and felt like stars
they sniffed and were airs
And when they wandered the grasslands would cover them
And if they went by water their feet became fish
And if they wanted to fly right away they’d go up
No one would tell them “NO!”
For houses they had some rose bushes...

And she would speak to him precisely
And he to her was a single and pure pleasure
And come over here and let’s head over there
and in this way they’d go everywhere
The earth the same and the sky the same and always that delight
And maybe in the dark they were surprised by an angel
or from afar music played for them.
And as for food
it was a habit of taking manna and wines from the leaves
and the trays would fly and the tables would set themselves
and when they went to love each other life would guard them.
But as you know there was also a great bush
a great black bush of black velvet
Far away
And the hill were it stood was made of blood
moving and moving
and the birds were dry there
watching and waiting
And right over here there was an apple tree
and the apple tree was always calling
and it called and called
and from the very leaves and branches
it was pure calling
“Come,” they’d say
And it felt like an aftertaste, a provocation
“Come and eat this little flower
Just a little nibble”
And throughout the earth there was a strong aroma of food
Right there appeared the serpent that was night magic and
daytime magic
and on whose flanks roosters flapped their wings
and through its eyes lightning
and inside it could be heard dances and much singing
Its head was swaying like flower
and from its ears seeped a perfume
and every heart flew.
That body cast days and nights
and would wrap itself in strange compliments.
And to the man it said
“That you don’t know
That you really haven’t touched or smelled
That this isn’t manna nor wine nor tasteless food”
And that was a make him make him understand
“That you don’t know
...That this is more than elixirs”

For him it was made out of a hard and dry material
he was made out of a very strong stone
and though his heart ran in circles
and though his liver turned
He wouldn’t fall and He wouldn’t fall
And she in turn was damp
because she was made of cloth, a soft kind
and the saying must have actually entered through her breasts
since it was made of flowers
and the flower petals didn’t resist
and the snake surrounded her breasts, bent her
and curved her as if she were in the patio, lying
amid the bushes
and that magic became softer and softer
and led them amid a very high clarity
and other eyes were waiting for them there
and other throats
and all that was a single song
waters and trumpets and mountains...
And another listening came to them, and still they tried to escape
but they only stooped
And they felt a breeze
a rough breeze
And in the middle of the valley atop a blood
that tree so black
and the blood moving
and those birds waiting, turning and turning,
And the tree was rising and closing the day for them and likewise
it was closing the night for them.

And they saw some leaves in the wind
and in the distance some dried flowers
and they looked at each other
and they trembled.

Adiós Escuque (1974)

{ Ramón Palomares, Antología poética, Caracas: Monte Ávila Editores, 2004 }

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