Back to Archive

Fernando Iturburu

Alexis Levitin

Fernando Cazón Vera






© 2005 - 2008 Per Contra: The International Journal of the Arts, Literature and Ideas. 





The Ancient Circle



How hard it’s been to live through all those Mondays.

On the wall where they are crucifying me
I hear the hammer defeating the nail.

And then, what shame to give one’s thanks
if even love is now remorse.

And then, what sorrow
to see oneself naked, with pierced hands.

And then to be reborn. And then to give oneself
till all that’s always been repeats itself.


No one knows that he is water
until he’s blamed for a drowning.

No one knows that he is earth
unless he trembles from his deepest depths.

No one knows that he’s a tree
until he’s blamed for a hanging.

No one know that he is bread
unless the hungry break him apart.

No one knows that he is water, earth, tree, bread.

No one knows that he is nothing.


Burning between two genital poles
in my beginnings my worth, in my beginnings my death.

Between two single digits they put me down.
Glued to my shadow,
for the second time I am wounded.

I stand anonymous between my two names
and they hold me between two steps
while forgetting me between two memories.

I am between two legs and two waters,
upon the earth that makes me throb,
beneath the tolling bell that calls me.

I am burning, I am purified and once
again am turned to doubled ashes,
until in some corner of death
the extremes touch.



The Ancient Circle by Fernando Cazón Vera translated by Alexis Levitin and Fernando Iturburu


Read the poem in Spanish