by Pablo Neruda

I’m going to wrinkle this word,
I’m going to twist it,
yes, it
is too smooth,
as if a large dog or a large lake
had passed its tongue or water over it, over it,
for years. Years.

I need ferrous salt
in the word, I want the desdentada
of land,
iron salt in the word,
the blood
of those who have spoken and those who have not spoken.

I want to spit the thirst
inside the syllables:
I want to lick the fire
in the sound:
I want to hear the darkness
in the cry. I want to
spit the words,
words stone as virgins.

Translated by Anna Beth Young

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