C A R L O S D R U M M O N D D E A N D R A D E
M U L T I T U D I N O U S H E A R T
It happened in Rio.
I was walking on the Avenida close to midnight.
Breasts were bouncing amid lights flashing countless stars.
The promise of the sea
and the jangle of streetcars
tempered the heat
that wafted in the wind
and the wind came from Minas Gerais.
My paralytic dreams the ennui of living
(life for me is the wish to die)
reduced me to a human barrel-organ remotely
in the shopping arcade of the Hotel Avenida sultry sultry
and since I knew no one, just the soft wind from Minas,
and didn't feel like drinking, I said: Let's end this.
But an excitement throbbed in the city its long buildings
cars with tops down zooming toward the sea
the sensuously roving heat
a thousand gifts of life for indifferent people,
and my heart beat violently, my useless eyes cried.
The sea was beating in my chest, no longer against the wharf.
The street ended, where did the trees go? the city is me
the city is me
I am the city
Carlos Drummond de Andrade
translated by Richard Zenith
Farrar, Straus and Giroux 2015