Andrés Rodríguez
Ritual of the Elder

Take my ancient voice.
Bare now, always bare

. Take this word
scarcely shining
and wash it in ancient prophecies.

Take this stone,
give it wings,
and float it in time.

Take this speech.
Stir up your destinies in it
and set your face at the foot of mornings,
and remember the tracks of a dove,
and don’t leave blood floating among reeds.

I consecrate this fire for you.
Burn it in the battle and golden lances through the afternoon.

Isn’t it true that you receive the farthest star,
turning it into copal or a trembling heron?

Receive my prayer.
Use it to still the valley
while all rumor of the tide
stops in the clay pitcher.

Take this blind ring.
Open its gaze so that the wind may pass
with all its maidens.

I consecrate maize for you.
Draw forth the deer’s tracks
and cover the earth.

I consecrate this sky for you.
Take the finest and lightest clouds
and fly,
that there may be an end of fallen wings,
and fly,
that there may no longer be so many broken feathers against the earth,
and fly,
that the ruins of the birds may arise,
asking for space.

Translation by Andrés Rodríguez