Waltz in the Branches (Frederico Garcia Lorca)

June 24, 2008

One leaf fell,
a second
and a third.
A fish swam on the moon.
The water sleeps for only an hour,
but the white sea sleeps for a hundred.
There was a dead lady
in the branch of the tree.
The nun in her habit
sang inside the pomegranate.
This girl of mine
reached the pinecone from the pine.
And the pine went along
to look for the tiny feather’s song.
But the wounded nightingale cried
throughout the countryside.
And I did too,
because the first leaf fell,
a second
and a third.
And a head of crystal
and a paper fiddle.
And the snow could make its way in the world,
if the snow slept for a month,
and the branches wrestled with the world,
one by one,
two by two
and three by three.
Oh, the hard ivory of invisible flesh!
Oh, the dawn’s abyss with no ants!
With the swish of the trees,
with the sighs of the ladies,
with the croaking of frogs
and the honey’s yellow glug.
A shadow’s torso will arrive,
wearing a laurel crown.
For the wind, the sky will
be as hard as a wall
and all the drowned branches
will leave as they dance.
One by one
around the moon,
two by two
around the sun,
and three by three
so the ivory can sleep.

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