for Paco Tovar

The new store or cafeteria opens up,
I pass by and watch, pass by and witness the slow catastrophe
of weeks, trimesters, or whatever time it survives;
I see how they practice all that one could possibly think of
–a book on marketing theory wide open–
so it can stay in business–which doesn’t make me happy, but 
      disheartens me,
and in passing even makes my nails turn white
by reminding me of that pathetic downfall when,
in order to last, it offered,
devastatingly and in secret,
to be sodomized without liking it–a mere resource
neither offensive nor defensive: advertising, a simple 33%
to achieve impossible illusions.
                                                Now they offer three farts for
      the price of two,
they give out condoms with a galloping sheik on the wrapper
to those who won’t turn down appetizers. This hurts me–
           –if when a business
triumphs and expands, becomes a wholesale meat grill,
no one beats me at disdain, venom, curses?
Isn’t my notion of the vendor set in alabaster?
(It is, testify the few monks of Leyre
after deciphering through transparency.)
Closing down businesses causes me (it’s embarrassing)
what children do:
                         I know what assembly of parasites they’ll turn into
when they grow up; I foresee that not even with a respectful 
will they greet, as they should, the passing of my burial–
but I worry, regardless, that while running they’ll trip
over the green laces of their snots,
that they’ll tumble, break their backs, or choke on them
and (if being aristocratic enough) that immediately after
    they’ll occupy
several sarcophagi with a tacky lying statuette
in Poblet–where the few monks
would vacuum the dust being sucked into the dents.
(Isn’t it all the same? I began by recognizing it.)


Translated from the Spanish by Mónica de la Torre