Like the First Cigarette

Like the first cigarette, the first hugs. You had
A little star made of paper
Bright on top of the cheekbone
And you occupied the marginal scene
Where the parties gather the solitude, the music
Or the gentle desire of a jointly return, almost always later.
And not the darkness, but these hours
That make the streets into stage props
For the private love,
They crossed together
Our possible fleeting shadows,
With our elevated chests and smoking.
Silhouettes with a voice,
Shadows in which began taking shape
This story that today we are truly,
Once the heart’s piece was bet.
Although the furniture
Got used to us.
In front of that window — which wouldn’t shut well —
In a room similar to ours,
With books and similar bodies,
We were loving each other
Under the first yawn of the city, its announcement,
Its arrogant protest. I had
A little star made of paper
Shining above the lip.

By Luis García Montero
Translated from the Spanish by Taynã Chiaparro


Taynã Chiaparro is a graduate student at the University of Missouri Kansas City, with degrees from UMKC and the University of São Paulo.

Luis García Montero (b. 1958) is a Spanish poet and professor at the University of Granada. His poetry, which has been awarded Spain’s National Poetry Prize and the National Poetry Critics Prize, takes a down-to-earth approach to what he calls the “poetry of experience,” in which the collective connects to the individual and colloquial language expresses a new sentimentality.