Satchmo, Player of the Lyre

Do you remember, Louis Armstrong,
the day we traveled through a corridor of sound
that we loved until death?
Remember the onomatopeya we couldn´t create
that gave us a throne in one blow?
It seems unreal, Louis, my love,
that we have shared so much,
so many branches
and such a great number of spumes.
It seems impossible, Louis,
that the blue forms which accompanied us
now dissolve between us;
and you, arrow, arm of the living angel,
venture where no one can recognize you save by your joy,
by your peach tree voice,
by your way of prolonging yourself in the light
and swelling in air.
I don´t believe the multitude of brilliance that once pursued us
has disappeared from the world.
Rather I believe it is hidden in time
and it will not be consumed.

You, incessant fire,
pedestal of cloud,
butterfly ending,
today you walk adrift amid flour
and amid other incorruptible matter that protects you
as it safekeeps all the just,
all the beautiful ones
whose beauty comes from afar and never departs,
and is illuminated each day
like the heights.

Satchmo, loved as far as music,
dreamed as far as an arpeggio,
the harps of David and their weight of copper
touch your soul
and the harpsichord of your endless hair.

Richard Wagner is standing, waiting for you on a tetralogical roof,
full of flowers that walk and grow incessantly
Richard Wagner himself
sees you arrive at the realm of crystals,
armed with a bastard and a bass trumpet
playing a wind son ,
sounding like a thunderclap
newly born humid and perfect.

And I, sonorous shadow of the future,
I also am there,
dreamed by two transparent bodies
that kiss and fuse and blur
on the great tetralogical roof
where all is clear as God
and love
and the trees.

Saturday the 10th of July 1971,
the day after his death,

Eunice Odio
Translation by Keith Ekiss and Sonia P. Ticas

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