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A Note to Fernando Pessoa

We must not be afraid to buy the bananas in the street,
the yellow bananas with the black splotches,
the bananas hawked by sellers with unseemly
yet beautiful voices, the bananas that have captured
the entire morning's sun in their electric skins.
Even if the eyes of the seller do not meet our eyes
in the way we think they should, even if the scales
read a little high, we must buy the bananas.
For what else is there? And if our voices break
when we ask the price, if we change our minds
picking first this bunch, then that one, then let us fail
perfectly, with bananas in our hands, yellow bananas
with black splotches, and the sun swinging
at the ends of our arms as we walk.

Jose A. Alcantara

Beloit Poetry Journal

Winter 2016/2017

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