The Visit of Evil

Antonio Colinas

Evil paid us a visit today,
Yet we decided to be welcoming hosts,
As we would to a generous guest.
Burst in evil did, at once like a snare or poison,
And open we threw
The door of our house.

As always, evil
Came blind, stark naked, unawares,
Sending dogs and cats running away,
But we still greeted him calmly
And showed him the way to the garden.
Over there, the day so sweet, in the scorching sun,
Sores and sorrows were searing,
Blotting blood off the wounds,
Canceling out the stench in the air.

Burst in evil did, like an irate blade,
In the vaults of shadows,
But open are our home and heart.
Once again, we had to put in love
Where no love had been before.
Done with the gag, spike, needle, bile
All smelted in the autumnal, musical bonfire
Unfurling today across the mountains.

I briefly went back inside
To offer the irascible guest
Some bread and drink.
My aim was to cheer him up,
And warm his frosty face.
Serene, back in the garden I went
Resolved to embrace evil, yet I couldn’t,
For I found him shattered, a dying man
Collapsing from light and silence on the grass.

Today, evil paid us a visit,
But soon we had to bury him
Under an orange tree enveloped in fragrance,
Where bees hum tirelessly.
We had to drink alone
The wine we brought out for the guest,
The sweet wine of the deepest oblivion.

Libro de la mansedumbre, Tusquets, Barcelona

Last updated November 29, 2022