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Poetry

The Flowers of War

By Alejandro Saravia
Translated from Spanish by María José Giménez

the flowers of war
open at night
on boulevard Saint-Laurent

a line from Lorca
a word from Castellanos
a body unharmed by the siege of Sarajevo
a bomb that didn’t explode in Hanoi or Baghdad
and the sweet lips of women in winter
are enough to make dawn bear fruit
on this corner on boulevard Saint-Laurent

best if you don’t know who you are
best if you don’t know where you’re from
best if you don’t know where you’re going

the boulevard’s flowers in the night
will give you all the faces
all the gestures
to read every absence
to be every wound and every miracle


Las flores de la guerra. © 2010 by Alejandro Saravia. Translation © 2016 by María José Giménez. All rights reserved.

English

the flowers of war
open at night
on boulevard Saint-Laurent

a line from Lorca
a word from Castellanos
a body unharmed by the siege of Sarajevo
a bomb that didn’t explode in Hanoi or Baghdad
and the sweet lips of women in winter
are enough to make dawn bear fruit
on this corner on boulevard Saint-Laurent

best if you don’t know who you are
best if you don’t know where you’re from
best if you don’t know where you’re going

the boulevard’s flowers in the night
will give you all the faces
all the gestures
to read every absence
to be every wound and every miracle


Las flores de la guerra. © 2010 by Alejandro Saravia. Translation © 2016 by María José Giménez. All rights reserved.

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