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Published: Thu Apr 15 1999
Salman Toor, Fag Puddle with Candle, Shoe, and Flag (detail), 2022. Courtesy of the artist and Luhring Augustine, N.Y. Photo: Farzad Owrang.

Here’s to us!
And here’s to the gods of destruction!
It’s not possible for me to love
anybody who speaks to me as you do.
I’ve been spoken to
already in that voice,
and I do not intend to be drunk
on it again, so long as I live.
You are the one I adored.
Here is the last glass of wine.
It’s a paradox
that whatever lives invites
its opposite.
I can’t see why grapes
should sing, and we should argue.
Here is the sea.
It contends with itself, and
with the other.
If you could be gentle,
I could be a man.
I want to learn this evident
form of sunlight, color, and intoxication.
I need to know particulars:
Dregs. Water. Air.
Here are the elements,
on our table, of love,
another sort of wastage.
A good vintage: a year.
I could not know you.
You could not know me.
But what is there under the skin
of love, but love?
The yeast, the fruit, the spice.
And love’s ashen bouquet.
What wakens us to daylight?
What makes us live?
I could drink you,
then the dream would come true.
Love someone else, instead.
There is always blood to flow.
And water.
And wine.
I’ve made a decision,
Heaven knows. It knows everything,
and we are in the dark,
with love-spun hearts, and wine.
I hope the angels will consent
to call us lovers.

See what's inside AGNI 49

Don Share is Senior Editor of Poetry magazine. His books include Squandermania (Salt Publishing, 2007), _Union _(Zoo Press, 2002), and Seneca in English (Penguin Classics, 1998); forthcoming are a critical edition of Basil Bunting’s poems (Faber and Faber) and Bunting’s Persia (Flood Editions). His translations of Miguel Hernàndez, collected in I Have Lots of Heart (Bloodaxe Books, 1997) were awarded the Times Literary Supplement Translation Prize, the Premio Valle Inclan Prize, and the PEN/New England Discovery Award.

Share’s translation* I Have Lots of Heart: Selected Poems of Miguel Hernàndez* was reviewed in AGNI 48 by Reetika Vazirani.


AGNI has published the following translations:

I Have Walked Down Many Roads by Antonio Machado

After Love by Miguel Hernàndez

The Last Corner Miguel Hernàndez

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