Friday, November 3, 2023



Like You

Like you I

love love, life, the sweet smell

of things, the sky-blue

landscape of January days.

And my blood boils up

and I laugh through eyes

that have become the buds of tears.

I believe the world is beautiful

and that poetry, like bread, is for everyone.

And that my veins don't end in me

but in the unanimous blood

of those who struggle for life,


little things,

landscape and read,

the poetry of everyone.

El Salvador Will Be

El Salvador will be a pretty

and (without exaggeration) serious country

when working class and peasantry

fertilize and comb and talc it

cure the historical hangover

clean it up reconstruct it

and get it going.

The problem is that today El Salvador

has a thousand rough edges and hundred thousand pitfalls

about five hundred thousand calluses and some blisters

cancers rashes dandruff filthiness

ulcers fractures fevers bad odors.

You have to round it off with a little machete

sandpaper lathe turpentine penicillin

sitz-baths kisses and gunpowder.

translated by Jack Hirschman


Roque Dalton

Clandestine Poems

introduction by Margaret Randall

Solidarity Publications, 1984