We’re all curious about what might hurt us.
— Federico García Lorca
You cannot tell me love is a cockroach
if you haven’t seen it run across the floor
or convince me that freedom is a dove
if you haven’t seen it fly past your window.
You cannot tell me sadness is a lamb
if you haven’t seen it hanging in the slaughterhouse
or make me believe that forgiveness is a fish
if you haven’t seen it swim like a ribbon in water.
You cannot tell me what I already know.
Love turns us into insects; we’re nothing more than fragile,
crawling on the floor. Sadness hangs after slaughter.
Sadness is a lamb eaten at Easter, and the day after.
But freedom is not a dove; forgiveness, not a fish.
If it were so —
my lover would have sent me a dove,
my lover would have given me a fish.