Of the Word

Carilda Oliver Labra
Cuban
1922 – 2018

 

I won’t tell you about truth,
because the word’s going to die
and others
will need it.

You came bearing the word
and I was sensitive to it.
I said:
give me a little of it…
I was weak
and I took the word from your shoulder.
You see:
it’s so heavy
that I, too, double over.

I want to say the word
over your grave,
but a flower already blooms there.
Between the final truth
and immortality
stands the poet
whose word was murdered by gunfire.

They killed your word
and covered you with earth,
but it doesn’t matter,
you’ll sing in the seeds.

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