Skip to content
Give readers a window on the world. Click to donate.
from the September 2011 issue

For Eugenio Montejo

Serene, Salinas, grows the air
and decks itself in beauty
and unaccustomed light
when consummate music sounds
steered by your knowing hand.

     Tr. Michael Smith
     Fray Luis de León, “To Francisco Salinas”

The music without sound,
The solitude that clamors
The supper that revives us and enamors.  

     Tr. Roy Campbell
     San Juan de la Cruz, “Spiritual Song”
Blackbird, blackbird fly
Into the light of the dark black night

     The Beatles, “Blackbird”

I didn’t see a single blackbird
that night
of Greek drunkenness
in a Berlin tavern
where you, Armando
Romero, and I drank
our fill
to speak insatiably
on this long path
of nights
that leads to friendship.
I didn’t see a single blackbird,
rather, in the reflection
of the alcohol, an ivory
hand which beckoned me.
And I didn’t see Nefertiti, instead
like on that bridge in Florence
the unforgotten waters of the Arno,
I saw Sònia in a transparent dress
and Armando awakening me
among blackbirds
you invented, like
those drunken nights
of eternal friendship
and lost loves
between sobs which she ignores
and which tomorrow, perhaps by dawn,
she’ll have forgotten,
in the glorious hangover
of song of the blackbirds and Eugenio

Read more from the September 2011 issue
Like what you read? Help WWB bring you the best new writing from around the world.