William Ospina

The Condemned Man on the Pyramid

Stone upon stone the earth seeks the sky.

Step by step my soles ascend to the sun.

The hot coal of life still beats in my chest

and idle now is the stone knife among these stones.

If you are all life, why do you need my heart?

If you are the great fire, why do you need my coal?

Each step of the stair erases a memory,

and how like my soul is this long shadow shattering

upon the last stones in the world.

— translated from the Spanish by Elaine Fowler Palencia, Michael Palencia-Roth