• Libbie


A poem by Brazilian writer Aleia Torio; her own translation into English.

How long, brother How long are we going to rise

before the sun and make

shine another day--canned

in buses and trains

waiting for our turn

at the stops

bank lines, grocery stores

and hospital halls

How long, brother

are we going to march

with a smile on our face

to the school to the church

to the slaughterhouse

and hear in silence the lights

of masters and pastors and madmen

How long are we going to sweep the dry

leaves fallen on sidewalks

and pick up the extraordinary

garbage they offer

wrapped in bright gold ribbons

How long, sister, how long

are we doing the nails

of ladies who plunge their claws

on the deep night of our skin--

how long are we shining

with the wax of our sweat

them shoes that step on the grass

of our dreams

How long, brother, our teeth

will engage together and make

spin these windmills of flesh

in the insatiable gear of our days

Brother, how long

How long are we going to open the wings

of the papers and wait, stunned

for the train, derailed

that's coming our way

Aleia Torio

Follow her on twitter @aleiatorio

Photo: Dai Sugano

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