We present this work in honor of the 35th anniversary of the poet’s death.

06-07 Costantini
Humberto Costantini
1924 – 1987

It simply happens I have become immortal.
The city buses respect me,
they bow before me,
like lap dogs they lick my shoes.

It simply happens I am no longer dying.
There’s no angina worth anything,
no typhus, cornice, war, or cannon,
cancer, knife, or flood,
no Junín fever, no vigilantes.
I’m on the other side,
Simply, I’m on the other side,
from this side,
fully immortal.

I move among Olympus, gods, ambrosias,
I laugh, or sneeze, or tell a joke
And time expands, expands like a crazy foam.
How marvelous existing
like this, immortal
celebrating birth every five minutes,
being a million birds,
an atrocious leavening.
What a scandal, caramba!
this swarm of life, this plague called by my
name, excessive, increasing,
fully immortal.

I used to suffer, sure, from flus, fears,
Idiot bosses, indigestion,
homesickness, solitude,
bad luck…
But that was a century ago,
twenty centuries,
when I was mortal.
When I was
so mortal, so stupid and so mortal,
that I didn’t even love you,
you have to understand.

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