On The Fifth Day Of A Hunger Strike
Forgive me if I’m unable to say
honestly and straightforwardly
all that I would like to say to you
I’m drunk, my head is light, it spins,
not from raki
but from hunger.
I’m European, I’m Asian, I’m American,
In this month of May
I’m not in jail or on a hunger strike,
But lying at night in a meadow
With your eyes as near to mine as the stars
And your hands in mine as a single hand
like the hand of my mother
like the hand of my helpmate
like the hand of life.
You, at least, have never abandoned me,
Not me or my country or my people.
I know that you love me and love what’s ours
As I love you and love what’s yours.
And for this
I thank you, my brothers,
I thank you.
I have no intention of dying.
And if I am killed
I’ll go on living
in your thoughts.
I’ll live in the lines of Aragon-
in every line that describes
the coming of beautiful days-
And in the pigeons of Picasso,
And in the folksongs of Robson…
And more beautiful than anything else
more triumphant than anything else
I’ll live in the jubilant laughter
of a comrade on strike day
in the port of Marseilles.
Since you really wish me to talk again,
I’m so happy, so happy,
that I spurt the words out!