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Poetry

Six Variations on Love

Translated from Spanish

Note: These poems were originally written in Zapoteco.

I

Love
comes heavy
like a weight one cannot long carry
without cursing.

II

Love
is a feather in the air.
Although it is also the sun.
It rises and falls.
Comes and goes.

III

Love
is honey that flows from the tree,
the juice of tender corn
generous in the dawn.
The juice that flows
in the intimate garden of a woman.

IV

Love is the flower of the fig tree,
nagual1 of the iguana, hand of a goddess.
More than anything you have ever known,
you will know the itch in your soul.

V

Love
comes and goes like the night.
The one who does not return
leaves with a stolen piece of soul,
the one who returns, comes to plunder
the bloody heart.

VI

Love
flowers unceasingly;
like a sickness,
it does not understand reason,
like death.

Footnote:

1. Alter ego in animal form

Originally published in El sueño del flojo, México, Escritores en Lenguas Indígenas, A.C. 2000 (Poesía zapoteca, 3).

English

Note: These poems were originally written in Zapoteco.

I

Love
comes heavy
like a weight one cannot long carry
without cursing.

II

Love
is a feather in the air.
Although it is also the sun.
It rises and falls.
Comes and goes.

III

Love
is honey that flows from the tree,
the juice of tender corn
generous in the dawn.
The juice that flows
in the intimate garden of a woman.

IV

Love is the flower of the fig tree,
nagual1 of the iguana, hand of a goddess.
More than anything you have ever known,
you will know the itch in your soul.

V

Love
comes and goes like the night.
The one who does not return
leaves with a stolen piece of soul,
the one who returns, comes to plunder
the bloody heart.

VI

Love
flowers unceasingly;
like a sickness,
it does not understand reason,
like death.

Footnote:

1. Alter ego in animal form

Originally published in El sueño del flojo, México, Escritores en Lenguas Indígenas, A.C. 2000 (Poesía zapoteca, 3).