I am walking, after rain, in evening’s sigh, passing the stone cross, on the way to the arches. You know where they filmed scenes from Nacho Libre? You know when Nacho picks on the wrong guys?
I pass the yellow house on the right and remember Miguel and Pia have left for Mexico City and they’ve (perhaps foolishly) left their upstairs window shutters open with little choice but to welcome summer, the bouquet of bougainvillea and morning sun, and a novice guitar player’s sweet strumming.
You know that despairing ballad I repeat, “Ojala,” how it murmurs as plaintive wind chimes?
I know. I write to you now as if we have studied these landmarks together, as if this letter is not my own howling anthem.
Noche de verano
Es una hermosa noche de verano.
Tienen las altas casas
abiertos los balcones
del viejo pueblo a la anchurosa plaza.
En el amplio rectángulo desierto,
bancos de piedra, evónimos y acacias
sus negras sombras en la arena blanca.
En el cénit, la luna, y en la torre,
la esfera del reloj iluminada.
Yo en este viejo pueblo paseando
solo, como un fantasma.
A beautiful summer night.
the tall houses leave
their balcony shutters open
to the wide plaza of the old village.
In the large deserted square,
stone benches, burning bush and acacias
trace their black shadows
symmetrically on the white sand.
In its zenith, the moon; in the tower,
the clock’s illuminated globe.
I walk through this ancient village,
alone, like a ghost.
translated from the Spanish by Willis Barnstone
- Celebrate a time of day, a season, the colors (natural or human made) of a place.