Son, Are You…?

12-21 Valls
Jorge Valls
Cuban
1933 – 2015

 

‘Son, are you suffering?’
(It was your voice, mother, speaking to me…
and your cheek and your smell
and the warm tenderness of your lips.
I became seas and marshes:
All the fallen stars plunging into my waters,
Unrelenting waters, mother, ungovernable.)
‘Is that you, my son?’
(As though your finger touched
in the midst of the night’s depths
soothing my brow,
and I, shuddering and with choking throat
wracked by boundless pain.
Mother, my bones, my tendons hurt;
the joints of my blood hurt;
this stone wounding my breast hurts…
and the jaws tearing at my back.)
You there as limpid as a moist jasmine flower!
‘Son, are you suffering?’

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