The sea is familiar in the sense
of gene soup,
and there’s a dunghill in front of the sea
and a flock of sheep
sniff at the poor leftovers of a meal.
Suddenly doubts of the repetitive
seduction of slag heaps,
of residual liquids
and compost of cemetaries.
With what invisible and lasting charm
does the air of the living rot
or breathe its own thickened air.
Do we enjoy perverting beauty,
like in universities, and other
new beauty in the trash announces
a horizon without scarring?
More metaphysics or decoration?
Trash doesn’t want to be human.
A concept is missing
from the comparison. It is what it was.
customs… Not even bones,
poor Yorick, put up with
confusing themselves with you.
You go down to the shore
where there are children and healthy foam.
You linger and take a few pictures
of two chalk rectangles
beneath the whitewashed sky: two lovers.
Or husband and wife.
Like other animals you live
between the maturity of detritus
with your back against the rocks and asepsis of the sea
iodized and young. You love
descent. Even though
it may not be love.
Trash feels good with you.
Make it a metaphor.
Or leave it here, between plastic, eyes
for someone else to use.
Translated by Curtis Bauer
“Garbage” is from Echado a perder [Spoiled] (Madrid, Visor, 2007); this English translation appeared in The Dirty Goat #25.
You can read and listen to the poem in the original Spanish here.