12/13/1933 – 08/22/2021
I write you these words
From El Salvador
The land of poet Roque Dalton
You know, you remember Acta, your favorite poem of his.
In the name of those who wash other people’s clothes
(and cleanse from their whiteness other people’s filth).
In the name of those who care for other people’s children
(and sell their labor in the form of motherly love and humiliations)…
Here in El Salvador
It’s raining and I’m remembering, so many memories of you since 1980
Your love for El Salvador, your revolutionary joy
Your poetry on fire, in tears, in truth, singing always singing
Querido Jack, Poeta
When I come back to San Francisco
The city won’t be the same
Nor the North Beach bars, nor cafés, nor the Mission, nor Chinatown
I don’t know where
Poets go when they go
But it’s raining for a reason, and dawn is a good vodka
And the dream of life is just, and it all fits, justice, love.
I accuse private property of depriving us of everything.
And for me, life hurts now, it hurts me to say
Life hurts me for depriving us of you
Let’s go forward, Jack, like children
Like sparrows, like you, a love poem
Translated by Elizabeth Bell