About Love of Barbarians

Luis Benitez
Argentine
b. 1956

 

The opposite seeks the opposite
and the drop of black
grows within white
until turning white into black
and conversely the drop becomes white

We all want the opposite
Which incarnates in front of you
Once in a while
And brings its exotic religion its idea of the subject
Its distractions its apparent cruelty
The little care with which it handles the most precious gifts
The offers and presents we devoted
Before
To our own fetich
Such was our donation
Barbarians have the candor of what we were
That which has never grown in them
Or has never been attempted

They are what was possible for us to be today and did not prosper
Therefore the tenderness the zeal the interest we feel
For its apparent clumsiness
A constant lack of consideration

Our consolation when their actions kill us
is contemplating them kindly
And caressing or at least trying to do so

The destroying brutality
that when rebuked
they sincerely do not understand
As they would not understand if in front of them we wept
The why of all those tears they feel innocent
They are indeed, ours is the tragedy of understanding
That we can do nothing
Either for love or for hatred to redeem the creature
From its rude condition

This is of all gifts perhaps the rarest
Our gods have given us
Our non-existing gods

There are also those barbarians who resemble us
But they are not us beware of them above all
They are the most dangerous they are those who really
Reach your heart
With their deceits of which they are of course
Utterly innocent

But nothing changes barbarians

And when their fierceness appears expressing their “meanness”
Their “violence” their “impiety” their fastidious extreme negligence
They are already within us and it is late
Very late for everything
And they will never leave that
Which their unskilfulness their unconscious malice conquered
And also their dexterity
Widely acquired
In combat against other barbarians

We will be their success the drop of childish joy
Which lasts for a day
The lonely boasting which soon disperses
Ours will be the ruins the venerated broken statues
We sold at market price for their sake
Nothing or almost nothing is worth anything from us among barbarians
And ours will be the night where something will burn
Eternally in flames forever
For the love of barbarians

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