Peruvian Graffiti flag image
Click to purchase at Amazon Kindle store

Abelardo Sanchez Leon

A Poem

Translated by Michael L. Smith

From the rubbing of our legs will come a boy or a girl.
And it will have long hair like the hay we stroke between cries tonight.
We will scatter a white semen and it will drip from the ceiling,
it will settle on the flanks,
it will spin in the breeze like a chipped echo in our hards.

(We were born naked and whiled,
stretching our thick stumped cropped off in the cold of the distance,
now relieved of the fiery brilliance, of the glowing fire,
of the night covered with spasms and stars.
We were born stirring our deformed, hairless bodies,
in the calm wind waiting to stir the splintered beds,
where our parents tumbled in the sweat of the sheets
between their excited thighs.)

From this night will be born a boy or a girl from the rubbing of our legs.
In your womb you will nourish its flesh with your flesh.
From your loins you will feel the pain
and its head will keep growing until it takes in your own body.
Where you go, it will go with you.
Where you are still, it will be still with you.
Where you sleep, it will sleep with you.
You will feed it with flesh and blood.
And it will leave you with a jerk
when you're stretched out seating in all the weight of silence.

Let me caress your skin like water flowing through your hands,
rest my neck on your womb and tumble us until night darkens.
We strip our bodies with the breeze and let the smell of hay
cover us waiting for the morning with its immobile weariness.
This night belongs to us alone.

They will take it away as they tore us from each other's arms.
It will be dragged through the streets climbing the carved steps.
It will go where you don't go.
It will be still where you are not still.
It will sleep where you don't sleep.
It is dawning and I see the bristles of time on our shadows.
Hold me: let it move away with the sweat of our bodies,
and its skin will smell like the night's hay.

Poems and Closed Windows, 1969

Back to Translations