Slow, bitter animal

Slow, bitter animal
that I am, that I have been
bitter from the knot of dust and water and wind
which, in the first generation of man, would plead with God
Bitter like those bitter minerals
which in the nights of precise solitude
—damned and ruined solitude
without one’s self—
scale up the throat
and, scabs of silence,
suffocate, kill, resuscitate.
Bitter like that bitter voice
prenatal, presubstantial, which spoke
our word, which walked down our path,
which died our death,
and which we discover at every moment.
Bitter from inside,
from what I am not
—my skin like my tongue—
from the first living thing,
annunciation and prophecy
Slow since centuries ago,
remote—there is nothing behind—
distant, far, unknown.
Slow, bitter animal
that I am, that I have been.
–Jaime Sabines
translation by echoseeker