Cólera buey

Selected Poems of Juan Gelman
translated by Hardie St. Martin


jiri wolker attila joszef me
probably never three more perfect friends
jiri would talk about prague
and the blind stoker’s eyes still fixed on us
joszef would sing to Flora and the Revolution
and there were no trains for suicides then
or hospital beds to die in

what do you think of it? jiri joszef me
all three knocking around going through countries and women
and drinking wine and writing brilliant poems
the world was wide and all ours we had nothing
and everything ahead of us like youth
and so this was turning out as we had always planned
in a barricade
jiri joszef and me whistling to the end
they were giving up their bones their tremendous nevers

juri died in a hospital
joszef hurled himself under a train
oh god we were so beautiful
whistling to the end