I Have When I see myself, touch myself me, Juan with Nothing only yesterday, and today, Juan with

Everything, and today with everything, turning my head, looking, see myself and touch myself and I ask how has this come to be. I have, let’s see I have the pleasure of walking through my homeland, master of all there is in it, looking, close up at what before I didn’t have nor could have. I can say zafra, I can say mountain, I can say city, and army already mine forever and yours, ours, a broad brilliance of beam, star, bloom. I have, let’s see, I have the pleasure of going me, farmer, worker, a simple person, I have the pleasure of going ( here’s an example) to a bank and speaking with the manager not in English, not with sir, only saying to him compañero like we say Spanish. I have, let’s see being black no one detaining me at the door of a dance hall or a bar. or even in the lobby of a hotel shouting at me that there isn’t a room, a little room nor a huge room, a tiny room where I might rest. I have, let’s see, no rural police that can grab me, lock me in a jail, nor uproot me and throw me off my land in the middle of the highway. I have as I have the land, the sea, no club, no high life, no tennis and no yacht, Just beach on beach, and wave on wave, huge, blue, open democratic: finally, the sea.

I have, let’s see, already learned to read, to count, already learned to write and think and laugh. I have since I have where I work and make what I need to eat. I have , let’s see, I have what I had to have.

Nicolás Guillén Translated by Steven Woodruff

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