Rufus’ Soliloquy

Homero Aridjis

On the landing at the top of the stair

I would fall asleep on my master’s arm,

back propped against the wall,

paws crossed and ears alert.


Eyes thick with sleep, on the blue

carpet no one walks across,

I lay in wait for the noises in the street

and sensed the shadows passing.


At the tips of my ears the silence grew

and because my master’s daughters were sleeping

in the rooms upstairs, I guarded his door.

I never let them out of my sight.


Stretched out on the blue landing, between

upstairs and down, yesterday and tomorrow,

the most strategic spot in the house,

I watched the emptiness intently.


At the first sight that they were awake

I went in to greet them and it made them happy

to hear the panting of my grin and Mmmmmm of my


(I don’t know what it said, but they liked to hear it).


I never asked anything more in this world

than to lie at the foot of the table

and lick my master’s plate—

for a dog’s life is to hunger and wait.


My days passed without memory or regrets,

living in the eternity of the moment

like an animal or a god.

This, others call happiness.


So were my years counted, seven for his one,

so did the hand that took me out walking lose its power to,

so did his eyes and mine cloud over,

so did no one come now to the landing on the stair.




Aridjis, Homero. “Rofus’ Soliloquy.” Poemas solares: Solar Poems. Trans. George McWhirter. San Francisco: City Lights Books, 2010. pp. 79-81.

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