Black Stone on Top of a White Stone


I shall die in Paris, in a rainstorm,
On a day I already remember.
I shall die in Paris–it does not bother me–
Doubtless on a Thursday, like today, in autumn.

It shall be a Thursday, because today, Thursday
As I put down these lines, I have set my shoulders
To the evil. Never like today have I turned,
And headed my whole journey to the ways where I am alone.

Cesar Vallejo is dead. They struck him,
All of them, though he did nothing to them.
They hit him hard with a stick and hard also
With the end of a rope. Witnesses are: the Thursdays,
The shoulder bones, the loneliness, the rain and the roads . . . .


                                      Spanish; trans. Thomas Merton


Cesar Vallejo, Spanish, trans. Thomas Merton.