Don’t talk.

Watch how things round you rot.

Trust only in children and animals
and learn from the old the fear of having
lived too long.

Ask your contemporaries only practical things
and share with them your failures, your diseases
your anxieties but never your successes.

Of your brothers love the one who’s far away
and fear the one who lives close by.

Never ask your parents about their past
or try to discuss with them your childhood and youth.

Don’t talk to your boss, write to him and never tell him
your plans for the future and lie to him about your past.

Love your woman as far as she allows you
and if you happen to have children, think
that as in games of chance
you could win or lose.

Destiny doesn’t exist.

You are your destiny.

And if you reach old age,
thank heaven for your long life
but pray, resigned, for an early death.

We who have neither money nor power
are worth less than a horse,
a dog,
a bird or a full moon.

We who have neither money nor power
have always kept quiet so we could live
many years.

We who have neither money nor power
when we reach forty
must live in silence
and absolutely alone.

That’s what the ancients understood.

Yours truly certifies it.

Anyone who hasn’t been able to change his country
by the end of his fourth decade
is condemned to pay for his cowardice for the rest
of his days.

Heroes always die young.

Don’t be one of them,
end your days
playing the cynical role of a wise man.

Traslated from Spanish by Rowena Hill