Cosa Rica

Tonight I arrived at a train station.
Same as the rest. Lingering, suffocating,
serene at times, submerged
under the magic spell of the clock.
And I played the mole, tired little beast
crouched in a corner,
watching them go by, running, giving up,
or devouring the teller’s little window
to ask for a ticket, a schedule,
and running again.

Tonight I arrived at the station,
and I refused to remember the other one, the very short one,
blown and shaken
like a freezing poplar.
I remember myself there, torn from the train,
returned to the crowds,
searching the useless walls
for light, noon, some color,
a locust tree spinning its enigmas in the delusions of my body. Then
everything was darkened earth,
a bolt of fear from my neck to my waist,
and hatred for the unrepentant rain’s proclamation.

Tonight I arrived
and renounced this air stifled between the walls,
the cloistered anger,
the bitter little shoot in search of
the shade and the downpour.
Trains go by. I can’t help but see in them
a fleeting sadness, a foreshadowing of the north wind,
a promise to bygone loves.
I look at the mole, being dragged along
thrown into this zigzag of shouts and shapes
looking doubtful, accusing, as if figuring out
the schedule, and the ruins
of an ancient music.

I see the night fly by,

and the sky in my shoes, and the outline
of my body traveling
through this gallery of angels tripping over each other
trying not to miss the train,
trying to be happy, trying to get to the bottom
of this inglorious journey.

Carlos Francisco Monge

(Translated from Spanish by Victor S. Drescher)©