Translated To-Do List

After Browne

The original is unfaithful to the translation. — Jorge Luis Borges


1. go to sledgemaster’s

2. figure out how to move the sludge

3. redeem the sludge

4. keep the sludge from moving forward

5. because what I am pleading for

6. is freedom from sludge

7. if it overtakes me, I am lost

8. today and possibly in whatever

9. you called tomorrow, or did you call

10. today, this piano chord that doesn’t

11. wish to come, horn essaying its contours

12. like this wish, a breath of yesterday still

13. in me when no glacier

14. could flow slowly enough to break it up. Never give someone else

15. the power to legislate your sludge

16. though it makes you temporarily sunny

17. nor think you need lodge in the center

18. where all mud-spattered wielders of fists

19. live, do not think you live less because the mud

20. wishes to climb your insides and steal you

21. to its realm, o never forsake where you came from

22. o dust of my dust, loin of my loin, ash of my tomorrow.