The Angel Poem by Javier Campos

The Angel

There will always be someone who’ll offer you a hand
and who’ll leave you at the edge of the abyss
or at the door of a well-lit house
or in the only forest where unimaginable pain
the most debased torture

there will always be someone who will come to your window
one day in your life
and will sing you happy songs
or make you a gift of Carpe Diem’s only rose

his melody will insist that you both fly away
dressed as saltimbanques
to travel through the Universe

but it’s possible he’ll abandon you
with no return map
with no water
and leave you unsheltered in the desert of the moon
believing though he has taken you
to the warm pastures of Venus
and that some time he’ll come back for you
centuries will pass before you begin to realize
you’ve been left behind
in the crematoriums of the sun

there will always be someone who’ll want to read you
in the palm of your hand
a fairy tale
or foresee your future
in the gold coins of a playing card

who’ll give you tickets for a train
made in the machine shops of the rainbow
where everything you see out the window
will always be immortal
you’ll pass through towns that never age
through prairie lands where people live forever
where the trees only bear flowers
where nothing has ever transformed even one of them
into a dried up autumn leaf
because autumn is a nonexistent season

there’s always someone who simply brushes our lips
or with a couple of words
can lead us to paradise or the catacombs
to the well of desire
to the darkest pit where the black dragon
will be our jailer
and our executioner
watching over us night and day
with his long flaming tongue
there’s always someone who wants to take you
to the most hidden corner of the Universe
to leave you in the middle of nowhere

(because it’s known that 1% of the cosmos
is pure light
and the rest nothing more than darkness)

or those who will insist on yanking out of you
your daily life
with promises
as beautiful as those images
that sleepily float by
on TV monitors

or those who’ll slice your heart in a hundred pieces
as though it were an apple
or abandon you in the middle of a map
of indecipherable, tenebrous streets
of a city named
Babylon, Villa Grimaldi, Sodom
or Auschwitz

there will always be someone who’ll want to have your eyes
filled with the most beautiful stars in the Universe
so that dreamy with tenderness
you’ll walk through the original paradise
or to the rack of the torturer
who awaits you impatiently on a bed of fire

those are the beings some call angels
(depending on which side of heaven they’re seen)
and they appear to be in every place
the ones who move through our lives with a powerful light
are made of fire
and also ice

they say they’re the diabolical angels of love
and pain
dressed in stars
mesmerizing us with their beauty
and dark enchantments

always remember:
there are beings in life
who come from somewhere in the universe
to calm our obsessive anxieties
to destroy our nightmares
and the immense solitude that consumes us

they sweetly offer us
our lost childhood home
or they sever it at the roots
with their handsome obsidian knife

remember: the one who writes this
saw him once fly innocently
through these galaxies:
it was the beautiful angel
who traveled alongside my space ship
for centuries and centuries

he became a wonderful dolphin
looking at me with tenderness and with hatred
while he dove down
and then jumped over the flaming waters
of the entire, infinite Universe.

(Translated from Spanish by Nick W. Hill)

Javier Campos

Javier Campos

Chile, now in USA
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