The Window

By MIGUEL-ANGEL ZAPATA

 

I’m going to build a window in the middle of the street in order to not feel lonely. I will plant a tree in the middle of the street, and it will grow to the astonishment of the passersby. I’ll raise birds that will never flit to other trees, and they will remain perched and chirping to the surrounding noise and general disinterest. I’ll grow an ocean framed within the window. But this time I won’t grow tired of its waters, and the seagulls will circle high above my head. There will be a bed and sofa beneath the trees so that the flame will have a rest from the waves.

 

I’m going to build a window in the middle of the street in order to not feel lonely. That way I will be able to see the sky and the people that pass by without speaking to me, just like those vultures of death that fly but are unable to rip out my heart. This window will illumine my loneliness. I might even open another window from the middle of the sea then see the horizon shimmer like a firefly with crystal wings. The world would be far away, across the sands, over there, where loneliness and memories exist. Anyway, it’s inevitable that I build a window, especially now that I no longer write or walk beneath the desert pines, even though today seems 
to be suited for the discovery of unfathomable lands.

 

I’m going to build a window in the middle of the street. How absurd, they’ll tell me, a window so that people pass by and stare at you as if you were a madman who wants to see both the sky and a candle flickering behind the curtains. Baudelaire was correct; the one who looks outside from an open window sees less than the one who sees a shut window. Because of this, I have shut my windows and have run out into the street, in order to not see myself illumined by the shadow.
Translated by Anthony Seidman

 

Miguel-Angel Zapata books include Lumbre de la letra, Escribir bajo el polvo, El cielo que me escribe, Cuervos, Los muslos sobre la grama, the bilingual A Sparrow in the House of Seven Patios, and Fragmentos de una manzana y otros poemas.

Anthony Seidman has published poetry and translations in such journals as Nimrod, Borderlands: Texas Poetry Review, Skidrow Penthouse, Rattle, Pearl, and The Bitter Oleander, as well as in Mexico in La Jornada and Luvina.

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