from Diary of an Accomplice

Luis García Montero


Maybe all we are lacking
is to be a little less young, to experience life
in another, more distant tone
                                          without abuses
of our inevitable humanity.

Paradise again.
Again the good fortune of a house
not too big, under a Friday sun,
a sincere refuge on a hill
from which to watch the earth tenderly,
as March leaves and April lifts
the face of the inherited fields
two hours away.

Against the injured glass of the door,
I like to watch the roots wanting you,
to know their desire is mine as they cling
with wild fingers to your body,
to your enormous days of small breasts,
like shadows of the olive tree.
Just as a dream would have it, you begin the descent
to sleep with me,
the hidden kingdom of retired light,
which neither silences arguments of the flesh
nor brings distance
to the mundane noise of its vocabulary,
inherited too with these stones.

Although the smoke of firewood is whiter
and floats on the sound of peace
over the aged silence of these mountains,
although the hymns of the dawn
weaken their voices, drawing nearer,
I know not the path that separates me
from a body from whom I beg dignity,
a body not invited to its anniversaries, that liturgical heat
of its ancestors
and of ancient dances
of naked shoulders
that look like the sea.

It is impossible to retire from time.

It is impossible,
yet I venture to surprise us,
to tell you, to know you,
to have the privilege.
And they are useless, these hours
that are not of your age nor of mine.


The pines have reached their pensiveness.
Your loneliness, so poorly documented,
ignores that people roam the street
a little more naked
and that skin opens to a sky
of tumultuous blue,
half song, half false coin.

And over the fields,
spring returned
under the transparency of a dress
or in the ambiguous garden
that rests
—startled by blackbirds and swifts—
with life against the wall of the house.

Only in you, like shadows,
do the intuitive bodies rise,
the halfway footprints of the birds,
that foreignness
of their games in the navigable air.
                                                      And you watch them rise,
maybe disappeared,
scheming in the branches where love schemes
to write the verses
born of us
as a shipwreck is born of the sea.

You represent two things:
sadness and beauty,
and the wings of a dream. 


The days take off their shoes
to pass by without us realizing.
They are almost dismissed, almost encounters
— happy but uncomfortable —
of bodies that watch each other
and postpone their appointment.
                                          Although in the background,
we are left with footprints that are not memories.

In that uncultivated garden I keep
the man who came to desire you,
to walk without you,
wild and alone.
Because of you spoke the oleanders,
with their difficult branches like teenage girls,
and the palms tall like your nakedness,
and that confused sky
that sought
the light by which love distinguishes your eyes.

We age not at all. Maybe we never age.

And now I can tell you,
when you remind me of oleanders,
and your arcuate nakedness sketches a palm,
and your eyes mist
over the wild garden of lovers.

Maybe we never age. Or perhaps it is that time
took off its heels so as not to bother us.
Or perhaps desire
walks our lips barefoot still. 


translated from the Spanish by Alice McAdams