Featured Poem

I never laugh about death

I never laugh
about death.
It simply
happens that
I am not
afraid
to die
among
trees and birds.

I don’t laugh about death.
But sometimes I get so thirsty
that I ask something from life.
Sometimes I get thirsty and I ask questions
every day, and what happens is
I get no answers
except a deep and dark
belly laugh. Like I say, I’m not in the habit
of laughing about death,
but even so, I know her white
face, her morbid clothes.

I don’t laugh about death.
And yet I know her white house,
I know her white clothes,
I know her dampness and her silence.
It’s true, of course, that death
hasn’t visited me yet.
So you people will ask: In that case
what exactly do you know?

I don’t know anything.
And that’s true too.

And yet, I know that when she comes
I will be waiting for her.
I’ll be waiting for her on foot
or maybe while having breakfast.
I will look at her blandly
(she won’t scare me)
and since I have never laughed
at her costume, I will accompany her
all alone. All alone.

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About the translation:
» Read translator's notes
Poet:
Javier Heraud
Translator:
Timothy Allen
Original language:
Spanish (Peru)
Issue:
Series 3 No.14 - Polyphony

Original poem

About the authors

Poet

Javier Heraud

Javier Heraud is remembered as much for the senseless tragedy of his violent death as for his precocious talent: an award-winn...

» Read more

Translator

Timothy Allen

Timothy Allen was born in Liverpool in 1960, and as a former aid worker has lived in many parts of the developing world. He ha...

» Read more

I never laugh about death

I never laugh
about death.
It simply
happens that
I am not
afraid
to die
among
trees and birds.

I don’t laugh about death.
But sometimes I get so thirsty
that I ask something from life.
Sometimes I get thirsty and I ask questions
every day, and what happens is
I get no answers
except a deep and dark
belly laugh. Like I say, I’m not in the habit
of laughing about death,
but even so, I know her white
face, her morbid clothes.

I don’t laugh about death.
And yet I know her white house,
I know her white clothes,
I know her dampness and her silence.
It’s true, of course, that death
hasn’t visited me yet.
So you people will ask: In that case
what exactly do you know?

I don’t know anything.
And that’s true too.

And yet, I know that when she comes
I will be waiting for her.
I’ll be waiting for her on foot
or maybe while having breakfast.
I will look at her blandly
(she won’t scare me)
and since I have never laughed
at her costume, I will accompany her
all alone. All alone.

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