The Blood of Others

Alive, I read the poems of the dead,
I who laugh and cry and can shout
“Patria Libre o Morir!”
on the back of the flatbed truck
the day we enter Managua.

I read the poems of the dead,
watching the ants in the grass,
my bare feet, your straight hair,
the curve of your back
after hours of meetings.

I read the poems of the dead
and fear the blood that fuels our love
does not belong to us.

— Gioconda Belli
(Trans. by Margaret Randall)

La sangre de otros

Leo los poemas del los muertos
yo que estoy viva
yo que vivi para reirme y llorar
y gritar Patria Libre o Morir
sobre un camion
el dia que llegamos a Managua.

Leo lose poemas de los muertos,
veo las hormigas sobre la grima,
mis pies descalzos,
tu pelo lacio,
espalda encorvada sobre la reunion.

Leo los poemas de los muertos
y siento que esta sangre con que nos amamos,
no nos pertence.

— Gioconda Belli

Nicaraguan novelist and poet Gioconda Belli was an active member of the Sandinista resistance during the Somoza military dictatorship. She was forced into exile in 1975 and returned to Nicaragua in 1979.

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