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Federico García Lorca: Poet in New York (Paperback, 2007, Grove Press) No rating

City Without Sleep by Federico García Lorca (Nocturne of the Brooklyn Bridge)

No one sleeps in the sky. No one. No one sleeps. The creatures of the moon smell and circle their cabins. Live iguanas will come to bite the men who don't dream and he who flees with broken heart will find on the corners the still, incredible crocodile under the tender protest of the stars.

No one sleeps in the world. No one. No one sleeps. There is a dead man in the farthest cemetery who for three years complains of the dry landscape on his knee; and the boy they buried this morning wept so much they had to call the dogs to quiet him down.

Life is not a dream. Look! We fall down the stairs to eat damp earth or we ascend to the edge of snow with a chorus of dead dahlias. But there's no forgetting, no sleep: living flesh. Kisses bind the lips in a tangle of recent veins and those who suffer, suffer without rest and those who fear death will carry it on their shoulders.

One day horses will live in the taverns and furious ants will attack the yellow skies that take refuge in the eyes of cows.

Some other day we'll see the resurrection of mounted butterflies and even as we wander through a landscape of gray sponges and mute ships we'll see our ring glow and roses pour forth from our tongue. Look! Those who still bear traces of claw and squall, that boy who cries because he knows nothing of the invention of the bridge or that dead man who has only his head and one shoe, they must be taken to the wall where iguanas and serpents are waiting, where the bear's teeth are waiting, where a child's mummified hand is waiting, and the hair of the camel bristles with a violent blue chill.

No one sleeps in the sky. No one. No one sleeps. But if someone closes his eyes, beat him, my children, beat him! Even if there's a panorama of open eyes and bitter incandescent sores. No one sleeps in the world. No one.

I've already said it. No one sleeps. But if at night someone has an excess of moss on his temples, then open the trap doors so the moon lets him see the false cups, the poison, and the skull of the theaters.

Poet in New York by  (Page 63)