Sonnet XVII: I do not love you as if you were brine-rose, topaz

I do not love you as if you were salt-rose, or topaz,or the arrow of carnations the fire shoots off.I love you as certain dark things are to be loved,in secret, between the shadow and the soul. I love you as the plant that never bloomsbut carries in itself the light of hidden flowers;thanks to … Read more

The Old Women Of The Ocean

To the solemn sea the old women come With their shawls knotted around their necks With their fragile feet cracking. They sit down alone on the shore Without moving their eyes or their hands Without changing the clouds or the silence. The obscene sea breaks and claws Rushes downhill trumpeting Shakes its bull’s beard. The … Read more

Triangles

Three triangles of birds crossed Over the enormous ocean which extended In winter like a green beast. Everything just lay there, the silence, The unfolding gray, the heavy light Of space, some land now and then. Over everything there was passing A flight And another flight Of dark birds, winter bodies Trembling triangles Whose wings, … Read more

Sonnet LXVI: I Do Not Love You Except Because I Love You

I do not love you except because I love you;I go from loving to not loving you,From waiting to not waiting for youMy heart moves from cold to fire. I love you only because it’s you the one I love;I hate you deeply, and hating youBend to you, and the measure of my changing love … Read more

Sonnet XXV

Before I loved you, love, nothing was my own: I wavered through the streets, amongObjects: Nothing mattered or had a name: The world was made of air, which waited. I knew rooms full of ashes, Tunnels where the moon lived, Rough warehouses that growled ‘get lost’, Questions that insisted in the sand. Everything was empty, … Read more

The People

I recall that man and not two centurieshave passed since I saw him,he went neither by horse nor by carriage:purely on foothe outstrippeddistances,and carried no sword or armour,only nets on his shoulder,axe or hammer or spade,never fighting the rest of his species:his exploits were with water and earth,with wheat so that it turned into bread,with … Read more

Walking Around

It so happens I am sick of being a man.And it happens that I walk into tailorshops and movie housesdried up, waterproof, like a swan made of feltsteering my way in a water of wombs and ashes. The smell of barbershops makes me break into hoarse sobs.The only thing I want is to lie still … Read more

Sonnet LXXIII: Maybe you’ll remember

Maybe you’ll remember that razor-faced man who slipped out from the dark like a blade and – before we realized – knew what was there: he saw the smoke and concluded fire. The pallid woman with black hair rose like a fish from the abyss, and the two of them built up a contraption, armed … Read more

Sonnet XXVII: Naked You Are As Simple as one of your Hands

Naked, you are simple as one of your hands, Smooth, earthy, small, transparent, round: You have moonlines, applepathways: Naked, you are slender as a naked grain of wheat. Naked, you are blue as the night in Cuba; You have vines and stars in your hair; Naked, you are spacious and yellow As summer in a … Read more

The Portrait In The Rock

Oh yes I knew him, I spent years with him,with his golden and stony substance,he was a man who was tired – in Paraguay he left his father and mother,his sons, his nephews,his latest in-laws,his house, his chickens,and some half-opened books.They called him to the door.When he opened it, the police took him,and they beat … Read more