There are desires to return, to love, to not disappear,
and there are desires to die, fought by two
opposing waters that have never isthmused.
There are desires for a great kiss that would shroud Life,
one that ends in the Africa of a fiery agony,
There are desires to. . .have no desires, Lord;
I point my deicidal finger at you:
there are desires to not have had a heart.
Spring returns, returns and will depart. And God,
bent in time, repeats himself, and passes, passes
with the spinal column of the Universe on his back.
When my temples beat their lugubrious drum,
when the dream engraved on a dagger aches me,
there are desires to be left standing in this verse!
From The Complete Poetry: A Bilingual Edition, by César Vallejo, Clayton Eshleman (trans.), © 2007 by The Regents of the University of California. Published by the University of California Press.