Ali Calderón (Mexico) – Letter to the Corinthians – translated by Ramón Flores Pinedo

I’m not much, just barely

these blue days

this legion of nobodies

and this childhood sun,

trace of ruins.

The herds break with the silence

of the bells. It is Corinth.

We walk the town, preaching

the pallid hope, the compass rose.

We are alone. We erase ourselves

into the hidden memory of things.

Aimless, with only dogs following us.

What does it matter if Daniela and everything else are lost?

Night falls on Ephesus.

Isn’t that where the apostle wrote

that light and passing

anguish? I read

in everything that surrounds me

the signs of downfall.

I search again in my pockets. Nothing:

wounds, blows, open sores,

disjointed words, objects

forever detached from their names.

There is nothing, there is suspicion

of distant lights in the gulf,

signs perhaps imperceptible

which faintly, gloomily attest to

another possible reality

yet unlived, foreign, unapproachable

just now, one sky passes

and beneath the dark thrush

the icons gaze at us, indifferent.

Alí Calderón was born in 1982 in Mexico City. He is a professor at the Universidad Autónoma de Puebla and the co-founder and editor of the literary magazine Círculo de Poesía.

Ramón Flores Pinedo is a PhD student in the Latin American and Iberian Cultures program at Columbia University.