Jaime Sabines Translated by Claudia Hagadus Long

The moon can be taken by teaspoonfuls,
Or in pill form every two hours

It’s useful as a sleeping pill or a sedative

And soothes those drunk on philosophy

A sliver of moon in your pocket is a better charm than a rabbit’s foot

It can help you find your beloved, helps you be rich without anyone knowing
And keeps the doctor away. You can give it to children for dessert when they
won’t go to sleep
And a couple of drops in an old man’s eyes help him die in peace.
Put a tender leaf of moon under your pillow
And you’ll see what you should see.

Always carry a little jar of moon air for when you’re drowning
And give the moon key to the prisoner and the disenchanted.
For those condemned to death

And for those condemned to life
There’s no greater solace than the moon

Given in precise and controlled doses.


Jaime Sabines

a cucharadas

o como una cápsula cada dos horas.
Es buena como hipnótico y sedante

y también alivia
a los que se han intoxicado de filosofía.

Un pedazo de luna en el bolsillo
es mejor amuleto que la pata de conejo:
sirve para encontrar a quien se ama,

para ser rico sin que lo sepa nadie

y para alejar a los médicos y las clínicas.
Se puede dar de postre a los niños
cuando no se han dormido,

y unas gotas de luna en los ojos de los ancianos

ayudan a bien morir.

Pon una hoja tierna de la luna
debajo de tu almohada
y mirarás lo que quieras ver.

Lleva siempre un frasquito del aire de la luna
para cuando te ahogues,

y dale la llave de la luna

a los presos y a los desencantados.
Para los condenados a muerte

y para los condenados a vida

no hay mejor estimulante que la luna

en dosis precisas y controladas.

Last Post in Poetry Month–Antonio Machado, I Kiss The Page

Antonio Machado, I Kiss The Page

Antonio Machado, I kiss the page,
put my lips
to your words
as if they were warm

I was alone in a cell
made for a monk
thick adobe walls
kept it cool all afternoon

up the Chama River gorge
by the red rock colossi
I carried your book
in Spanish and English

and overcome
by my love for your poem
I pressed my lips
to a piece of paper

I was embarrassed
although no one saw
as if I’d kissed a baby
I didn’t know in a restaurant

as if I’d kissed
another woman’s husband
or the photograph
of a handsome dead man

Antonio Machado, my love is pure
maybe a bit possessive, maybe a bit jealous
for in that moment when I kissed you
I was your only reader in the entire universe