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Palace steps

(English translation of Escalinata del palacio by Antonio Colinas)

I have been living in this palace for many years.
I sleep on the steps, at the foot of the cypresses.
They say the golden sun bathes the columns,
the tortoise shell colours, the flowers.
I am the owner of a violin and some rags.
I tell stories of death and everyone leaves me.
Churches and palaces, the forests, the villages,
they are mine, my burning music empties them.
I came from the sea. A man drowned me when I was a child.
My eyes were eaten by a beautiful blue fish
and in their empty sockets live scorpions.
One day I wanted to hang myself from a thick apple tree.
Another day I strangled a snake by the neck.
But always I end up sleeping among the flowers,
I am drunk among the flowers, drowned by the music
that peels off the violin I hold in my arms.
I'm like a strange bird that flutters among roses.
My friend is the dew. I want to throw in the lake
diamonds, topaz, the things of men.
Sometimes, when I am crying, a child approaches,
kisses me on my wounds and steals my heart.


For more translations of poems by Antonio Colinas, go to Translations.

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