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“Ah Margarida”

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Ah Margarida,   
If I gave you my life,   
What would you do with it?   
       I’d take my earrings out of hock,
       Marry a blind man,
       And live on a tree-lined block.
         
But Margarida,   
If I gave you my life,   
What would your mother say?   
       (Her mother knows me inside out.)   
       She’d say you’re a fool,
       Without a doubt.

And Margarida,   
If I gave you my life   
Literally, by dying?   
       I’d go to your funeral, firmly believing
       You’d gone mad
       To try to love by not living.
         
But Margarida,   
If this giving of my life to you   
Were merely poetry?   
       In that case, forget it,
       The deal’s off,
       Because I don’t sell on credit.

                        Dictated by the Naval Engineer   
                                    Sr. Álvaro de Campos   
                                    in a state of alcoholic   
                                          unconsciousness.   


Source: Poetry (April 2009)

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This poem originally appeared in the April 2009 issue of Poetry magazine

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“Ah Margarida”

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