I knew for years the archaic term for refrain
               the part of the song you carry—
is burden. It carries you. Refrain, also, as in
               hold back. The burden holds me back.
If I didn’t have you, my father said, passing
               the fire, I’d get out to help. It made me
imagine people inside. I lived instead.
               Burden, I learned, after the bees began
producing rust-honey in their rust-wax
               hives, is also what you feed
into the blast furnace. A burden of rust-honey,
               into the furnace shaft. The slag
is gummy. It sounds impossible. It’s also
               dull. The house kept burning and we ran
for help. It means we’d stopped to watch.
               It sounds impossible. It’s also dull.
Tenderly, though, his running desperate, 
               yet matching his steps to the child’s. 
A sweet smell in the tetanus.

Copyright © 2020 by Zach Savich. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on December 9, 2020, by the Academy of American Poets.

translated by Sarah Arvio

To find a kiss of yours
what would I give
A kiss that strayed from your lips
dead to love

My lips taste
the dirt of shadows     

To gaze at your dark eyes
what would I give
Dawns of rainbow garnet  
fanning open before God— 

The stars blinded them
one morning in May

And to kiss your pure thighs
what would I give
Raw rose crystal  
sediment of the sun


[Por encontrar un beso tuyo]

Por encontrar un beso tuyo,
¿qué daría yo?
¡Un beso errante de tu boca
muerta para el amor!

(Tierra de sombra
come mi boca.)

Por contemplar tus ojos negros,
¿qué daría yo?
¡Auroras  de carbunclos irisados
abiertas frente a Dios!

(Las estrellas los cegaron
una mañana de mayo.)

Y por besar tus muslos castos,
¿qué daría yo?

(Cristal de rosa primitiva,
sedimento de sol.)

Translation copyright © 2017 by Sarah Arvio. Original text copyright © The Estate of Federico García Lorca. From Poet in Spain (Knopf, 2017). Originally published in Poem-a-Day on July 25, 2017, by the Academy of American Poets.