When one goes to a foreign country
amongst people, buildings, pigeons, statues
of people one doesn’t know
the air is somehow more breathable
and it is as if they took from your feet
some thousand-year-old leaden boots.
It’s as though the spring
of routine went mad
wouldn’t do what it was told,
suddenly the oil of one whole olive tree
rained over the joints of things
so the birds didn’t screech
trams didn’t batter iron
and the square throat of doors
turned with a gesture, opening quick.
You seem so happy away from time
suddenly your coral knows that in the North
the sea no longer roars
and beats uneasily towards the West.
Xosé Manuel Valdés
(Trabe: Oviedo, 1998)