“Game” – Octavio Paz

I’ll plunder seasons.
I’ll play with months and years.
Winter days with the red faces of summer.

And down the gray road,
in the silent parade
of hard, unmoving days,
I’ll organize the blues and gymnastics.

A rippling morning
of painted lips,
cool, as though just bathed,
with an autumn dawn.

And I’ll catch the clouds–
red, blue, purple–
and throw them against the inexpressive paper
of the black and blue sky,
so that they’ll write a letter
in the universal language
to their good friend the wind.

To help the shopkeepers,
I’ll make luminous billboards,
with spotlights of stars.

Maybe I’ll assassinate a dawn
so that, bleeding,
it will stain a white cloud purple.

In the shop of the seasons,
I’ll sell ripe autumn apples
wrapped in the paper of winter mists.

I’ll kidnap Spring,
to have her in my house,
like a ballerina.

The wind will change its schedule.
Unpredictable crossings of the clouds.

And down the highway of the Future, I’ll rush toward Winter,
for the surprise of meeting it later,
mixed with Summer.

On the green felt of space,
I’ll bet on days
that will roll like dice.

I’ll play with months and years.


Octavio Paz’s first unpublished poem, 1931. Translated by Eliot Weinberger.

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