Skip to main content
By Silvia Curbelo

There is a music to this sadness.
In a room somewhere two people dance.
I do not mean to say desire is everything.
A cup half empty is simply half a cup.
How many times have we been there and not there?
I have seen waitresses slip a night's
worth of tips into the jukebox, their eyes
saying yes to nothing in particular.
Desire is not the point.
Tonight your name is a small thing
falling through sadness. We wake alone
in houses of sticks, of straw, of wind.
How long have we stood at the end of the pier
watching that water going?
In the distance the lights curve along
Tampa Bay, a wishbone ready to snap
and the night riding on that half promise,
a half moon to light the whole damned sky.
This is the way things are with us.
Sometimes we love almost enough.
We say I can do this, I can do
more than this
and faith feeds
on its own version of the facts.
In the end the heart turns on itself
like hunger to a spoon.
We make a wish in a vanishing landscape.
Sadness is one more reference point
like music in the distance.
Two people rise from a kitchen table
as if to dance. What do they know
about love?

Silvia Curbelo, "Tonight I Can Almost Hear the Singing" from The Secret History of Water. Copyright © 1997 by Silvia Curbelo.  Reprinted by permission of Anhinga Press.

Source: Touching the Fire: Fifteen Poets of Today's Latino Renaissance (Anchor Books, 1998)

  • Love

Poet Bio

Silvia Curbelo
Born in Matanzas, Cuba, poet Silvia Curbelo emigrated to the United States with her parents as a child. Her poems couple the personal with the elemental, overlaying collective and individual paths. Curbelo has served as the editor of Organica Quarterly and is the recipient of fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Florida Arts Council, the Florida Division of Cultural Affairs, the Cintas Foundation, the Seaside Foundation, and the Atlantic Center for the Arts, as well as Mid-American Review’s James Wright Award and American Poetry Review’s Jessica Nobel Maxwell Memorial Prize. She lives in Tampa. See More By This Poet

More Poems about Love

Browse poems about Love Get a random poem