Audio: Read by the author.
You always come back to the same thing, to the steppes
intensified by the distance and unease,
and to those primary shapes, to the sphere
that includes but also excludes everything,
to the disk that leaves nothing beyond it,
and the spiral pulling everything to the center.
But, if you didn’t notice, there is the cross:
the cross that includes everything as it
excludes nothing, that leaves you the horizon
and does not close off the dark inside you,
the cross, which is not primary because
we came before so it could come to be.
Translated from the Spanish by Don Bogen
Julio Martínez Mesanza is among the most prominent of a generation of Spanish poets who came of age after the death of Franco in 1975. His work includes several editions of a single expanding collection called Europa. His most recent collection, Gloria (Rialp), won the Spanish National Prize for poetry.
Don Bogen is the author of five books of poetry, most recently Immediate Song (Milkweed), and the translator of Europa: Selected Poems of Julio Martínez Mesanza (Diálogos). www.donbogen.com