If We Love Only One Person

James Tipton


If we love only one person,

that is obsession and not love.


If we love only one religion,

one thing is certain:  we are not religious.


If we love only one house

we do not know what home really is.


When we look deeply into the eyes of a stranger

and think:  “This woman also is my wife,

or this man also is my husband,”

then we are beginning to make some progress.


And what about that old crone,

and that old derelict?  Yes,

they also are Father and Mother.


Some days all the women in the world

are wearing a single skirt,

and all the men fit into a single pair of shoes.


On those days we no longer blame ourselves

because it has taken us so long to learn to love.


On those days we can say it is God,

God who has made us crazy.

Si solamente amamos a una persona

James Tipton

Spanish translation by Flor Aguilera García



Si solamente amamos a una persona,

eso es obsesión más no es amor.


Si solamente amamos una religión,

sólo hay una certeza: no somos religiosos.


Si solamente amamos una casa

no conocemos el significado de hogar.


Cuando miramos en la profundidad

de unos ojos extraños

y pensamos:  “Esta mujer también es mi esposa,

o este hombre también es mi esposo,”

empezamos entonces a hacer un poco de progreso.


¿Y qué hay de esa vieja bruja,

y ese viejo en ruinas?  Si,

ellos también son Mamá y Papá.


Hay ciertos días en que todas las mujeres del mundo

portan una misma falda,

y los hombres un mismo par de zapatos.


En esos días se marcha la culpa

por habernos demorado tanto en aprender a amar.


En esos días sólo podemos decir que es Dios,

Dios quien nos ha vuelto locos.



James Tipton lives in Chapala, in the tropical mountains of southern Mexico, where he writes poetry and enjoys village life.  His work has been published in  The Nation, South Dakota Review, The Greensboro Review, Esquire, FIELD, Christian Science Monitor, American Literary Review, Lake Chapala Review and Mexico Connect.   His most recent book, Letters from a Stranger (Conundrum Press, 1998) with a Foreword by Isabel Allende, won the 1999 Colorado Book Award in Poetry.








Flor Aguilera García is a Mexican film critic, poet and novelist. She has four poetry books published by Praxis Mexico and one novel,  Diary of an Oyster (Alfaguara, 2006). Her first poetry book in English, Muses and Musings, is forthcoming from San Francisco Bay Press.