Tristeza, escarabajo
de siete patas rotas,
juevo, de telarana,
rata descalabrada,
esqueleto de perra:
Aqui no etras.
No pasas.
al sur con tu paraguas,
al norte con tus dientes de culebra.
Aqui vive um poeta.
La tristeza no puede
entar por estas puertas.
Por las ventanas
entra el aire del mundo,
las rojas rosas nueveas,
las banderas bordadas
del pueblo y sus victorias.
No peudes.
Aqui no entras.
Tus alas de murcielago,
yo pisare las plumas
que caen de tu manto,
you barrere los trozos
de tu cadaver Hacia
las cuatro puntas del viento,
you te torcere el cuello,
te cosere los ojos,
cantare tu mortaja
y enterrare, tristeza, tus heesos roedores
bao la primavera de un manzano.




Sadness, beetle
of seven broken legs,
cobwebbed spider egg,
decapitated rat,
bitch skeleton:
Here, there’s no entry.
Don’t pass.
to the south with your umbrella,
to the north with your snake teeth.
Here, lives a poet.
Sadness cannot
enter through these doors.
Through these windows
the air of the world enters,
the new red roses,
the embroidered flags of the town,
and their victories.
You can’t.
Here, there’s no entry.
your bat wings,
I’ll step on the feathers
that fall from your mantle,
I’ll sweep the pieces
of your corpse towards
the four points of the wind,
I’ll twist your neck,
I’ll sew your eyelids shut,
I’ll cut you a shroud, and bury,
sadness, your rodent bones
beneath an apple tree in spring.

Wally Swist’s books include Huang Po and the Dimensions of Love (Southern Illinois University Press, 2012) and Taking Residence (2021), Shanti Arts. A Writer’s Statements on Beauty: New & Selected Essays & Reviews was published in 2022. Recent work has or will appear in Asymptote, Chicago Quarterly Review, Commonweal, The Montreal Review, Poetry London, and Rattle.