December 1, 2008

José Manuel Arango

THE BEGGAR’S FIGURE

1

There he is,
seated
on the steps of the cathedral,
his back to the church door.
At his side,
one step down,
his hat.
And elbow on knee,
bearded chin
in his palm,
in the pose
of the Thinker!

2

This beggar knows.
He knows his public.
In the morning
his spot is the atrium
of the cathedral.
At night you’ll find him
curled up
at a whorehouse door.

tr. by John Oliver Simon

from Rattle #29, Summer 2008

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