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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.

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