Who lit the match!

                XXXIX

Who lit the match!
I'm swaying. I smile
swinging justified.
I smile even more, if everyone comes
to see the colourless guides
and me always on time. I don't care.

 And that good Sun who, dying of pleasure, 
cuts everything up to distribute it
among shadows, the prodigal,
not even he would wait for me on the other side.
Nor the rest who keep only
entering and leaving.

 The great baker calls
with tolling retinas. And we pay in gestures
most curious the warm irrefutable value
baked, transcendent.
And we have coffee, already late,
with deficient sugar that's been lacking,
and butterless bread. What can we do.

 But, nonetheless, the rings regirded, barred.
Health walks on one foot. Forward: march!

César Vallejo
Translators: Michael Smith & Valentino Gianuzzi


Trilce (1922) (1930)  
Original version