2 Poems by Francisco Henriquez

El Silencio de los pobres

En la otra cara
el diluvio recobró
su fuerza roja,
y uno a uno
los adelantados
recorrieron
las orillas de fuego...
secarse las lágrimas
con algodones tibios
la mueca del silencio
no alumbró
lo suficiente
para encender la calma
de los seres de cera
A un paso
el gigante se encontraba
cuando estalló
El silencio de los pobres.

THE SILENCE OF THE POOR

On the other face
the flood recovers
its red strength,
and one by one
the advancers
travelled
the fiery edges— 
dry your tears
with warm cotton
the doll of silence
didn’t illuminate enough
to ignite the calm
of the wax beings

Just steps away
you’ll find the giant
when the silence of the poor
explodes.
 

Soneto, 1977

Y seguirán muriendo el sol y el viento
y la lluvia remoja mi destino,
porque el tiempo me vuelve
/un peregrino,
porque sólo es frialdad, lo que
/yo siento.
La tempestad del luto me enloquece
y veo las casuchas navegando
y los niños que aun viven pensando
en la armonía triste que empobrece.
Y morirá el aliento remembrado,
el canto y las gaviotas de mi tierra,
las esperanzas, el sol, que ya
/se entierra...
en el altar solemne desterrado.
y miraré la herida que no cierra
y el llanto en mi casucha acumulado.
 

SONNET, 1977

Now the sun and the wind will continue to die
and the rain soaks my destiny,
because time reverts me
/to a pilgrim,
because it's only coldness that
/I feel.
The storm of mourning drives me crazy
and I see the slums sailing
and the children who still live thinking
of the sad harmony that brings poverty.
And the remembered breath will die,
the song and seagulls of my world,
the hopes, the sun, that
/buries itself
in the solemn altar, banished.
And look at the wound that won’t close
and the cries of my accumulating slums.
 

Translator Bio: Ariel Francisco is the author of All My Heroes Are Broke (C&R Press, 2017) and Before Snowfall, After Rain (Glass Poetry Press, 2016). Born in the Bronx to Dominican and Guatemalan parents, he completed his MFA at Florida International University in Miami. His poems have appeared or are forthcoming in The Academy of American Poets, The American Poetry Review, Best New Poets 2016, Gulf Coast, Washington Square, and elsewhere. He lives and teaches in South Florida.

Author Bio: Francisco Henriquez was born in Santiago, Dominican Republic in 1957. He graduated from the Dominican Journalism Institute in 1979 and in the same year immigrated to New York City where he attended Hostos Community College. His poetry has been published in magazines and newspapers throughout Argentina, Dominican Republic, New York, and Florida. He currently lives in Orlando where he is the coordinator of the writing group "La Tertulia de Orlando.”

Elijah Tubbs