Tomorrow Triumphant

MOURNING FLAVOR
My delicate ballerina,
you do not know
the bitter flavor of mourning
which the earth holds
where my heart smokes.
If someone knocks at the door,
you never know if it’s life
or death
begging for alms.
If you go out into the street,
it could be that steps
never again return
to cross the threshold
of the house where you live.
If you write a poem,
it could be that tomorrow
it may serve as your epitaph.
If the day is beautiful
and you laugh,
it could be that night
finds you in a cell.
If you kiss the moon
which caresses your shoulder,
it’s conceivable that a knife
of salt
is born in your pupils
at dawn.

My sweet ballerina,
where I live the earth
has the bitter taste of mourning.

You know,
I believe
that I returned
to my country
only to die.

And to be honest,
I still don’t understand it.

  • trans. by David Volpendesta