Nocturne

01-21 Caceres
Omar Cáceres
Chilean
1904 – 1943

 

The trees are drunk, from nocturnal lights,
and they drag their shadows, nervous and stiff.

Their shadows, strangling the night’s winds,
shelter and rattle me, as if I were a bird.

And my steps echo in their black boughs,
and the weakest hooks fill me with vertigo;

yet when I cast my eye on them from another, simpler pair,
they respond, swaying, that they remained intact;

The leaves, dilating the communal shadows,
return like ruined boats to their tree.

They cannot, oh, attain the solid banks
that the tips of heavenly bodies announce from above,

yet thick with silence they plow, quivering
through deep and frozen ponds of miracle.

And in the nocturnal trees embracing the earth,
I find oblivion and mercy, when in despair,

while the light runs down their boughs,
thin, diaphanous, like water between my hands.

 

Translation by Mónica de la Torre

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