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A Very Little Light


                              Uma pequenina luz   

                                             Jorge de Sena  


Simply for the breath of staying alive

             I should talk to you,

simply to pass some words across a table

                         as bread or oil,

and not have them die in me. Or

                                                    die in you.

                                          And as I

measure by measure slowly toss the crisp

herbs of speech over towards your face,

a very little light will come into my eyes,

              a very little light

will glow out at you and enter your eyes

and will be returned to me and calm our

              mouths against duplicity.

And when all the bitter fratricides are

             piled up about us

this little light, this tiny flame out on the

                                    waste patch,

this wind-shaped tent that is your eye

                   with its slow torch,

this flickered heart with its ventricles

                         that beat and pump,

will provoke in us a bonfire and the will

                                    to live,

and even from the embers there will glow

               a little light, a very little

                         shining light,

as we pass some words across the table,

             simply for the breath of

                        staying alive.


Stephen Watts

in collection The Blue Bag, Aark Arts, 2004,

ISBN 1899179925


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