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from the July/August 2020 issue



In this poem, Alberto Luna seeks answers beyond traditional conceptions of good and evil and the images that give them their power, staking out a spiritual path all his own.


Listen to Alberto Luna read "Serpent" in the original Jopará Guaraní.

There is no serpent.
I alone
plunge my roots
and outstretch my branches.

I alone am for myself
fruit of intense sweetness,
I alone, facing myself,
make my mouth water
and lick my lips.

I alone, before myself,
beg myself for a blessing
and sanctify myself.
I alone put in their place
the bad and the good,
I alone am my own master.
I don’t need God.

Translated from Jopará Guaraní by Susan Smith Nash, PhD.

“Mbói” © Alberto Luna. By arrangement with the author. English translation © 2020 by Susan Smith Nash. Spanish translation © Susy Delgado. All rights reserved.


Ndaipóri mbói.
Chénte chejehegui
añembohapo puku
ha aipyso che rakã.

Chénte chejupe
yva he’ë asýva,
chénte chejehe
ha añekümberéi.

Chénte che rovái
atupänói che jupe
ha che ajehovasa.
Chénte amohenda
ivai ha iporãva,
chénte che jára
naikotevëi Ñandejára.

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