In the beginning The spirit moving Upon the face of the waters And in the breaking waves Tasted salt And I see fields of it Drying on the shore. We let in shallow lakes of sea To evaporate, And the salt Accumulates along their edge Thanks to the sunlight: Crystal white, Enough for everyone, Harvested and sold In every shop and on the roads: Salt!— In proper measure Bringing out the taste, The flavor and spirit Of our food, hot or cold. Why should pepper get So much admiration When salt does all the work?
From The Ecco Anthology of International Poetry edited by Ilya Kaminsky and Susan Harris. Copyright © 2010 by Ecco / HarperCollins. Used by permission of the publisher. Translated from the Tigriny.