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With the Fingers

what can be expected of an old boy? That he books an appointment with specialists

merely for them to confirm his irredeemable deterioration
as if he really needed to be told

that he’s killing time
that his desires like him are retiring without rapture from a life of stepping forth and drawing breath
his kin, the city, take revenge for his dirty old tricks and petulance

stairs multiply in front of him
soapy pavements
barely a pin
a little hammering of the wind break his dentures
in the hotel sink
and just to finish them off the night elves hurl them out of the window
and the neighbours complain about the unearthly racket
damn these old codgers s
ome say they smell as foul as tramps
or prison walls
because the stench of a class of adolescents in summertime
turns one’s stomach
but in a different way

the old man lives in a vast country of people congested
by repentance and conditional times
a country of Peter Pan
of filthy, dethroned little princes
that the stinginess with which they open their cheque books does not air

country of excrescences, tremors, coughs
carpeted with nightmares
upon my return to the academy
I, Lazarus, impart
as tradition obliges
precious crusts, edicts of affection

the rainbow can be eaten with one’s fingers
the dew abates bad breath
carrying precious stones in his pockets hinders flight
letting go of them in the sky alleviates him
deciphering alphabets in the shapes of the clouds dusts off the privation
skating on thin ice
until it finally shatters
into a bright explosion of particles
for what other reason are things
but to be broken
just like that
all of a sudden
and knowingly

Luisa Futoransky

translated from Spanish by Philippa Page