When I Hear Your Name

When I hear your name
I feel a little robbed of it;
it seems unbelievable
that half a dozen letters could say so much

My compulsion is to blast down every wall with your name
I’d paint it on all the houses
there wouldn’t be a well
I hadn’t leaned into
to shout your name there,
nor a stone mountain
where I hadn’t uttered
those six separate letters
that are echoed back.

My compulsion is
to teach the birds to sing it,
to teach the fish to drink it,
to teach men that there is nothing
like the madness of repeating your name.

My compulsion is to forget altogether
the other 22 letters, all the numbers,
the books I’ve read, the poems I’ve written.
To say hello with your name.
To beg bread with your name.
‘She always says the same thing,’ they’d say when they saw me,
and I’d be so proud, so happy, so self-contained.

And I’ll go to the other world with your name on my tongue,
and all their questions I’ll answer with your name
– the judges and saints will understand nothing –
God will sentence me to repeating it endlessly and forever.

– Gloria Fuertes


What’s to say? Here’s more about Fuertes. Also, this poem reminded me of this poem by Meerabai.
Is there something about Spanish that lends itself to this imagery? Just a thought.

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