Juan
Gelman gave this previously unpublished and hand-written poem to Joaquín Sabina
when he was in Mexico last autumn. And I’ve tried to translate it.

Verdad es

Cada
dia

me
acerco más a mi esqueleto.

Se
está asomando con razón.

Lo
metí en buenas y en feas sin preguntarle nada,

él
siempre preguntándome, sin ver

cómo
era la dicha o la desdicha,

sin
quejarse, sin

distancias
efímeras de mí.

Ahora
que otea casi

el
aire alrededor,

qué
pensará la clavícula rota,

joya
espléndida, rodillas

que
arrastré sobre piedras

entre
perdones falsos, etcétera.

Esqueleto
saqueado, pronto

no
estorbará tu vista ninguna veleidad.

Aguantarás
el universo desnudo.

The truth is

Each
day

brings
me closer to my skeleton.

His
appearing is no surprise.

I took him
for what he was, asking nothing of him,

he
always asking me, with no consideration

of
fortune or misfortune,

without
complaining, with no

ephemeral
distances between us.

Now
that the air around

practically
watches from above,

what
will the broken collar bone think,

splendid
jewel, knees

which
I scraped on stones

among
false forgive-me’s, etcetera.

Plundered
skeleton, soon

there
will be nothing to spoil your view.

You
will face the universe naked.

Juan
Gelman

La
Condesa DF

28 October 2013