Love and Light in Brazil: Two Poems by José Carlos Limeira
translated by Bruce Dean Willis
Nunca tememos o escuro.
Senhores donos do poder
We never fear the dark.
Let the bigshot power-brokers
* * *
Se não houver luz
Vou amar-te em Braille
Escrever com dedos ousados
Em alfabeto jamais usado
Que escorra em nossas peles, verdades
Pois somos donos da possibilidade de quebrar
todas as bengalas
De reinventar o sol e a mágica dos dias
If there be no light
I will love you in Braille
write with daring fingers
in an inaugural, exclusive
that flows over our skin as truths,
Ours is the possibility of breaking all the staffs,
of reinventing the sun and the magic of the days.
José Carlos Limeira (born 1951) has been publishing stories, articles, columns and poems since the 1970s, including frequent contributions to the series Cadernos Negros since its inception. His works have been translated into several languages and studied in theses and dissertations in Brazil and abroad. He has been active in cultural organizations such as the Institute for the Study of Black Cultures (IPCN) and the Black Brazilian Writers’ Collective. He founded the first bloco afro in Salvador and also the Black Writers of Salvador Group (GENS). His most recent work (text and CD) is A Noite da Liberdade (The Night of Freedom).
Bruce Dean Willis (University of Tulsa) is a specialist in the literatures and cultures of Brazil, Mexico, and Chile. He posts his creative writing on Latin America at Macaw and is the author of the one-act play Flower Song Symposium: A Dramatic Dialogue about Art.