Hat, Overcoat, Gloves
translated from the Spanish of César Vallejo
Right opposite the Comédie Française, stands the Regency
Café. Inside the café is a hidden room with an easy chair
and a table. When I enter, dust is still thick in the air.
The stub of a cigarette smolders between my rubbery
lips. In the smoke, I see two things clearly, namely
that my humor is humorous, and that the smoky
air is throated with a deep oxide of sadness.
Autumn is Autumn. And Fall must be grafted into Fall.
Fall must be integrated with the young shoots.
Clouds should be boxed into half-years.
And wrinkles belong on cheeks.
It’s important you don’t smell like an idiot,
or postulate how hot is the snow,
how fleeting the tortoise,
how simple the how,
how deadly the when!