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Fernando Kofman, from The Flights of Zarza

Para la memoria no hay olvido

Para la memoria no hay olvido
ella trabaja a pesar nuestro,
de engañosos hábitos o viejas perversiones,
es imposible ocultar
lo que eternamente vuelve.

Pudimos hacer, pero no lo hicimos,
es irreversible,
se lo tragÓ el tiempo.
Pero aún podemos hacer,
cambiar, darnos algún sentido.

El mar barriendo,
lo que en la playa se construye,
tiene semejanza con nuestro recuerdo.

Allí estamos indiferentes,
rutinarios, yendo y viniendo,
mecánicos como el oleaje,
instalados en una repeticiÓn perpetua
un movimiento que nos hace inmutables.

Ese tal vez sea el aspecto
que más nos horroriza del mar,
tragarlo todo, una y otra vez,
por millones de años,
sin memoria.

For memory there is no oblivion

For memory there is no oblivion,
nothing fades no matter
how hard we try.
Of our deceitful customs and old perversions,
it is impossible to hide
that which eternally returns.

We could have acted but we did not act;
now the moment is irreversible,
time swallowed it up.
But we can still act,
change, give ourselves some meaning.

The sea that sweeps away
everything built on the beach
echoes the working of our memory.

For we are thoughtless
creatures of habit bustling back and forth,
as mechanical as the ebb and flow of the sea —
stuck in an unending repetition,
a movement that renders us immutable.

It is perhaps this that most horrifies
us about the sea,
the way it swallows everything, again and again,
over millions of years,
without memory.