Sunrise in Senegambia
Emilio Alzueta

The ocean’s light pouring through,
upriver shines

Star-glittering waves as a new, burnished

Blue, yellow boats,
with crimson prows and rows

still hidden in the seed of the morning

Before dawn ploughing the ocean
with a tattered sail

Before time,
at that instant before the world’s first moment

A horse sounds on the hushed,
reverberating beach

You say
I feel it galloping on my chest and my hands

Perhaps you still don’t know
that you are different from the air

Fish turn gold on your back while you are whispering

Like sea-currents,
perhaps it’s the river that joins us

From its faraway source
under the desert’s skin

What brings the wind just now,
the dry minaret’s mud

But the voice of Bilal, the Abyssinian,
night’s song

Which is the morning’s light,
the awakening of birds

A rush mat on the dirt for the dance
of remembrance

With my brothers,
black skin shining through white jellabas

You say
I know man’s prayer is the worship of the ocean

Perhaps one day the sunrise will burst my eyes
to see.