Letter from a contract worker

Thank you for dropping by The Amateur’s Quill. Today I have for you some beautiful words from Antonio Jacinto, the late Angolan poet, short-story writer and cabinet minister. Happy Valentine’s Day:)

“Letter from a contract worker” by Antonio Jacinto

ConfessionI wanted to write you a letter
my love
a letter to tell

of this longing
to see you
and this fear
of losing you
of this thing which is deeper than I want, I feel
a nameless pain which pursues me
a sorrow wrapped about my life.

I wanted to write you a letter
my love
a letter of intimate secrets
a letter of memories of you
of you
your lips as red as the tacula fruit
your hair black as the dark diloa fish
your eyes gentle as the macongue
your breast hard as young maboque fruit
your light walk
your caresses
better than any that I find here.

I wanted to write you a letter
my love
to bring back our days together in our secret haunts
nights lost in the long grass
to bring back the shadow of your legs
and the moonlight filtering through the endless palms,
to bring back the madness of our passion
and the bitterness of separation.

I wanted to write you a letter
my love
which you could not read without crying
which you could hide from papa Bombo
and conceal from mama Kieza
which you would reread without the coldness of forgetting
a letter which would make any other
in all Kilombo worthless.

I wanted to write you a letter
my love
a letter which the passing wind would take
A letter which the cashew and the coffee trees,
the hyenas and the buffalo
the alligators and the river fish
could hear
and if the wind should lose it on the way
the beast and plants
pitying our sharp sorrow
from song to song
lament to lament
breath to caught breath
would leave you, pure and hot,
the burning
the sorrowful words of the letter
I wanted to write you.

I wanted to write you a letter
but, oh my love, I cannot understand
why it is, why, why, why it is my love
that you cannot read
and I – oh the hopelessness- cannot write.

Poem by:Β Antonio Jacinto


17 thoughts on “Letter from a contract worker

  1. There are several beautiful images and metaphors in this love poem, but the one that does it for me is the following line: “nights lost in the long grass”. I become nestled in an experience; a foraging “into” love; a sort of escape into a wilderness, perhaps, but one filled with abandon in the absence of fear…because the lovers think that the time spent is well worth it, no matter the risk.

    Thanks for sharing.

    • I’m glad it’s a post you found it easy to relate to. Rather, I’m glad the post easily related with you. Thanks for reading. I appreciate this kind of poetry myself (it comes across to some people as quite ‘African’), especially since I’ve never been able to write like that..

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