Charo Guerra (Cuba)

Por: Charo Guerra
Traductor: Julio Llópiz

Man Who Begs

I have seen the face of the man who begged
all shrouded in his protective miasma.

His hair curled, loose,
flaunting an almost artificial
state of neglect.

He himself could be a sculpture,
exhibit the gaiety and volume
expensive cosmetic models advertise

The torn clothing
all over the merely
restricted and healthy body.

He's never been ashamed
for he is nothing but a man
who begs in simplicity.
He sits long hours on the sidewalk
and stretches out his tiny hands.

Why he is there is least important.
He has only come to hear the sound of coins.
He is the man who begs at church's doors
in the nasty porches of
Havana's old center
in Bogotá or Lima,
in Saint Petersburg,
choosing violins for background,
harsh horns
cries of misery.

The man who begs
at the subway's entrance
in the world's cemeteries
stained with their gross patina.

It rains now, cataclysms are all over,
lots of news about modernity and progress
but nothing changes a frightened being's madness.
He was born to live this life.

It will be likewise after or before.
We will prove it when the days
Come right and even.

With his automatic arm
the man stands on his best pose:
he stretches out his undying hands
which with dignity
shall hold the future cash,
lucky charms,
conformity and silences.

He is the man who begs.
In every space of the planet
Venerating the act of the offering
to ease who knows what.


Charo Guerra was born in Limonar, Matanzas, Cuba, in 1962. She has published: Un sitio bajo el cielo (Ediciones Matanzas, 1991), la plaquette Los inocentes (Ediciones Vigía, 1993), and Vámonos a Icaria (Letras Cubanas, 1998) which was awarded in the Pinos Nuevos Award, from The Instituto Cubano del Libro. Poems and short stories published in anthologies of those genres in Cuba and abroad. He obtained in 2001, The AwardDador from The Instituto Cubano Del Libro with the book project (still unpublished), "El Bazar de las Cosas Perdidas", and in 2005 the literary scholarship of The Cuban Artists Fund. She published during six years the magazine Gaceta of Cuba with different publications of her country.

Última actualización: 31/07/2021