The child who knelt before the wooden
altar painted without passion
finishes his prayers
_______________ and gets up cramped
what shakes the skies?
Miserable skies that
_______________ spill their dregs
while I take refuge under the eaves
of God’s house
____________ and that don’t clear up
I don’t drink you from the chalice
that the drunken priest
holds out to me
I drink you in the goblet of the trees
And what is this prayer for?
Salvation of the man
________________ _now forever sober
who yesterday offered us a beer?
No one prays for you
From one kneeling to another who stands
from the monks who loudly sing
to one who doesn’t know how to cross himself
trapped between two suns
___________________ _Devotion and fear
Lying in state
____________I attend Mass
Afternoon of three graves
—congestion in the traffic of souls
This rhythm is the mask of pain
Translated from the Spanish by Jerry Harp
The Image archive is supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts.