Bitter Oranges (Papiamento + English)

On Curaçao, one of the Leeward Islands, the strena (thunder) rumbles
And the ocean unveils itself like a movie screen
The waves are the most sincere actresses on the planet
I will jump into the movie and kiss the foam of my body

The Christoffelberg rises to 375 meters under the stars
Snow falls on the ocean
I hear your voice like a cyclone
Your absence has frozen the Caribbean Sea

The night falls like a manteca (butter) that I would have melted
The clouds sink into the darkness — a war song is heard
You see that brug (bridge) on the horizon, it’s on fire
It merges with the light that pierces the evening

Ki pelicula ta hunga awe? (What movie is playing today?)
I met a friend, he handed me a pen and laughed
He told me to write this poem while watching the movie of my life,
Den caya (in the city) the lights go out,

A teenage girl smashed her lipstick against my car window
I’m going to squeeze my inkwell so hard that it will make the salt lakes of the Salinas cry
But the clouds are choking me, I can’t write anymore,
I’m walking in the wrong town,

Ban kas (let’s go home) before the darkness swallows us,
I’ve roasted the time, I’ll pour the milk into your coffee, mi dushii (my love)
In front of a botica (kiosk), a dog whines, a beggar falls asleep
His dreams have gripped my arm like a curse

I’m drunk and want to ranka lenga (to French kiss) a star
They are so far away, and yet their light has seeped into my tears
They are so beautiful, and winter is so bright
Bin aki (come here), you see this flower I plucked in a garden of bitter oranges

The ghost of a soldier stole it from me in Oranjestad, before I gave it to you
I see his horse fading in the mist, his legend
Is breathed in the cold December air
Ban goza (let’s enjoy) the Caribbean wind

Its coolness shakes the curtain of rain –
A friend told me to write this poem while watching the movie of my life
Mais ki pelicula ta hunga awe (But what movie is playing today?)
I think I’m in the wrong movie theater

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