Poem of Love

Poem of Love
By Roque Dalton

Those who widened the Canal of Panama
(and were classified as “silver roll,” not “golden roll,”)
those who repaired the Pacific fleet
in the bases of California,
who rotted in the prisons of Guatemala,
Mexico, Honduras, Nicaragua
As thieves, smugglers, and blackmailers
As starving people
Those suspected of everything
(permit me to turn over the accused
as a suspicious beggar
with the aggravation of being Salvadorean),
those who filled the nightclubs and bars
in all the ports and capitals of the region
the farmers of corn in the middle of a foreign forest
the kings of the red page
those whom no one knows where they are
the best artisans in the world
those who were cooked with gunshots while crossing the border,
those who died of malaria
or the stings of scorpions or the yellow barb
in the furnace of banana plantations,
those who cried out drunk the national anthem
beneath the cyclone of the Pacific or the snow of the North
the crowd, the beggars, the addicts,
Salvadoreans cursed and damned
Those who could just barely come back,
Those who had a bit more luck,
The eternal undocumented,
The do-anything, sell-anything, eat-anything,
The first to take out a knife
The saddest sad people in the world,
My countrymen,
My brothers.


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