One Poem. One Planet. — Claribel Alegria



When I woke up

this morning

I knew you were

mortally wounded

that I was too

that our days were counted

our nights

that someone had counted them

without letting us know

that more than ever

I had to love you

you had to love me.

I inhaled your fragrance

I watched you sleeping

I ran the tips of my fingers

over your skin

remembered the friends

whose quota was filled

and are on the other side:

the one who died

a natural death

the one who fell in combat

the one they tortured

in jail

who kicked aside his death.

I brushed your warmth

with my lips:

mortally wounded

my love

perhaps tomorrow

and I loved you more than ever

and you loved me as well.


–Claribel Alegria (El Salvadore), from Spirits of the Age: Poets of Conscience, translated by Carolyn Forche.


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One Comment on “One Poem. One Planet. — Claribel Alegria

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