Sweat

  1. Water drinks its paradise in the sea,
  2. and sweat finds horizon, uproar, crest.
  3. Sweat is a brimming salty tree,
  4. a greedy surf.
  5. To offer the land its trembling cup
  6. sweat reaches from earth’s farthest age,
  7. feeds thirst and salt drop by drop,
  8. to kindle life.
  9. Sun’s cousin, tear’s brother, motion’s child,
  10. April to October, winter to summer,
  11. it goes rolling through the field
  12. in golden vines.
  13. As peasants pass through dawn
  14. behind the plow that uproots their sleep,
  15. they each wear a silent workshirt brown
  16. with mute sweat.
  17. The workers’ golden robe,
  18. jewel of the hands and eyes as well,
  19. through the haze the axilla’s shower
  20. spreads a fecund smell.
  21. The land’s flavor grows ripe and rich:
  22. flakes that hardworking, pungent weeping yields,
  23. manna of the men and fields,
  24. my forehead’s drink.
  25. You who never feel stiff or sweat,
  26. at leisure with no arms, music, pores,
  27. will never feel the open pores’ wet
  28. halo, or the power of the bulls.
  29. You will live stinking, die snuffed out:
  30. fiery beauty takes up life in the heels
  31. of bodies whose working limbs shift about
  32. like constellations.
  33. Comrades, surrender your foreheads to work:
  34. sweat, with its sword of tasty crystal,
  35. with its sticky flood, makes you transparent,
  36. lucky, equal.