Andrés Navarro

[Senhor do Bonfim]


Imagine that distance mythologizes with a force equal

to the push

necessary to maintain it, so that when you reach the oasis,

the myths, without anything to attach themselves to, coil

around the vulgarity the eye clumsily touches

with its wand of bad translation.

Imagine that outside the taxi,

in front of the colossal warehouses of Iguatemí,

half-formed women greet us

hurling strange blessings

and lembranças do Senhor do Bonfim. Music

from nowhere, summer soothed by drums

that incorporate other symbols of summer.

Imagine that the enigma

is reduced to a chirrup of the shrewdest animals:

chameleons, lizards, angels with bamboo wings.


Under the same clouds, a mobility of eyes

and engines and can crushers, and figures adhered

to their shadow: double beings advancing deliberately

somewhere. Bonfires burn nearby, wiry

children come back to the neighborhoods

while the biennials

catapult foreign authors, idols still too young

to be hostile through their ideology

but equipped with newfangled viruses

that have already begun to adapt.


Encounters, people who slip away inside names

as if they were laying traps. Here the dead

sleep on roofs because that’s what the living


and because the climate

allows it. But far from home

events occur to the extent that they can be

named in the presence of strangers, so that

any possibility

is imprecise. At night, when the void

over the rocks suggests

bodies, you’ll feel like having these calm parcels in your life

because they don’t mean anything, because you can come back

compelling your forehead to sweat, react in circles

while in the center

of the world

particles of benzene and lead thicken the broth

of those waiting around for news,

finance the good quality of memories,

unstitch initials, weigh letters, numbers.                                                         

Hear your voice

alien to the prestige of silent things. Look at your arms

healthy like the heart of a lunatic. Imagine what future

and past they have convened here to identify you.



 Translated by Curtis Bauer

[Senhor do Bonfim] is from Un huésped panorámico [A Panoramic Guest] (Barcelona, DVD Ediciones, 2010).


 You can read and listen to the poem in the original Spanish here.