Sunday, December 23, 2007

Si La Muerte

If Death

If death should come asking for me
do me the favour
of telling him to come back tomorrow
because I still haven't paid my debts
nor finished my poem
nor said goodbye to anyone
nor prepared clothing for the trip
nor delivered that package I promised to
nor locked up my desk drawers
nor told my friends what I should have
nor sniffed the fragrance of the unborn rose
nor laid bare my roots
nor answered an overdue letter
because I haven't even washed my hands
or known a son
or gone hiking in unknown countries
nor do I know the sea's seven sails
nor the song of mariners
If death should come
please tell him I understand
and wait a bit
because I haven't kissed my sweetheart goodbye
nor shaken hands with my family
nor dusted my books
nor whistled my favourite song
nor become reconciled with my enemies
tell him I haven't yet attempted suicide
nor seen my people freed
tell him if he comes to return tomorrow
that it's not because I fear him but because
I haven't set off along the road.

Miguel Huezo Mixco, Translated by Claribel Alegria and Darwin Flakoll
Si La Muerte, sung in Spanish by Diamanda Galas