Paulo Leminski


         This language isn't mine.
It's plain as day.
         When meaning goes away,
word stays behind.
          Maybe I'm just lying.
Or am I lying truth?
           So I say myself-just,
Maybe-I could barely say.
           This isn't my tongue.
The language I speak mutes
           a distant song,
the voice, beyond, not a word.
           The dialect you utilize
on the left bank of the phrase,
            that's the speech that lusofies
me, half, maybe, inside.

[trans. Chris Daniels]