give me a constellation

Standard

I’m Going to Sleep
Alfonsina Storni
Teeth of flowers, hairnet of dew,
hands of grass, you, my gentle nurse
have laid out the earthy sheets for me
and the eiderdown of well-cleaned mosses.

I’m going to sleep, my nurse, lay me down
and put a lamp beside my head. Give me
a constellation – whichever one you choose
for they are all good; lower it a little.

Leave me now: you can hear new sprouts breaking,
a celestial foot rocks the cradle from above
and a bird traces out the beats to help you

to forget… Thank you. Ah, one last thing,
If he calls again on the telephone
Tell him not to keep on. Tell him I’ve gone out.

Original

Voy a dormir
Dientes de flores, cofia de rocío,
manos de hierbas, tú, nodriza fina,
tenme prestas las sábanas terrosas
y el edredón de musgos escardados.

Voy a dormir, nodriza mía, acuéstame.
Ponme una lámpara a la cabecera;
una constelación; la que te guste;
todas son buenas; bájala un poquito.

Déjame sola: oyes romper los brotes…
te acuna un pie celeste desde arriba
y un pájaro te traza unos compases

para que olvides… Gracias. Ah, un encargo:
si él llama nuevamente por teléfono
le dices que no insista, que he salido…

Photo by Nick Chung on Unsplash

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