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This poem is taken from PN Review 238, Volume 44 Number 2, November - December 2017.

Five Poems (translated by Richard Gwyn) Darío Jaramillo
translated from the Colombian Spanish by Richard Gwyn


Reasons for his Absence

If anyone asks after him,
tell them that perhaps he’ll never come back, or else
on returning no one will recognise his face;
tell them also that he left no one any reasons,
that he had a secret message, something important to tell them
but he’s forgotten what it was.
Tell them that he is falling, in a different way, and in another part of the world;
tell them he is still not happy
if this makes some of them happy; tell them also that he left with his heart empty and dry
and tell them that this doesn’t matter, not even for pity or pardon’s sake
and that he himself doesn’t suffer on this account,
and that now he doesn’t believe in anything or anyone, far less in himself,
    that from seeing so many things, his sight dwindled, and now, blind, he needs touch,
tell them that once, on a sunny day, he had the faint glimmer of a faith in God,
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