Federico Garcia Lorca

the faithless wife

So I took her to the river believing she was a maiden, but she already had a husband. It was on St. James night and almost as if I was obliged to. The lanterns went out and the crickets lighted up. In the farthest street corners I touched her sleeping breasts and they opened to me suddenly like spikes of hyacinth. The starch of her petticoat sounded in my ears like a piece of silk ripped by ten knives. Without silver light on their foliage the trees had grown larger and a horizon of dogs barked very far from the river. Past the blackberries, the reeds and the hawthorne underneath her cluster of hair I made a hollow in the earth I took off my tie, she too off her dress. I, my belt with the revolver, she, her four bodices. Nor nard nor mother-o’-pearl have skin so fine, nor does glass with silver shine with such brilliance. Her thighs slipped away from me like startled fish, half full of fire, half full of cold. That night I ran on the best of roads mounted on a nacre mare without bridle stirrups. As a man, I won’t repeat the things she said to me. The light of understanding has made me more discreet. Smeared with sand and kisses I took her away from the river. The swords of the lilies battled with the air. I behaved like what I am, like a proper gypsy. I gave her a large sewing basket, of straw-colored satin, but I did not fall in love for although she had a husband she told me she was a maiden when I took her to the river.

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