Poetry Friday: “Ode with a Lament” by Pablo Neruda

O girl among the roses, pressure of doves,
O fortress of fishes and rosebushes,
your soul is a flask of dried salts
and your skin is a bell full of grapes.

I come with no presents, unluckily—only
fingernails, eyelashes, melted pianos,
with dreams bubbling out of my breast,
powdery dreams like a flight of black horsemen,
dreams full of haste and calamity.

Only with kisses and poppies can I love you,
with rain-sodden wreaths,
as I brood on the ash of the horse and the yellow of dogs.

Only with waves at my back can I love you:
in the dubious clashing of sulphur and preoccupied water
I swim up in the current, past the graveyards afloat on those rivers,
watery pastures that feed on the lachrymose chalk of the tombs;
I countercross hearts under water,
wan birth dates of children bereft of their burials.
So much dying, such an endless necrology
in my destitute passions, my desolate kisses!
The waters are loosed on my head
while my forelock grows longer—
water like time breaking free of itself, black water
like a voice in the night, like the screaming
of birds in the rain, an intermidable
darkness of wings wetted down, keeping watch on my bones
while I dress, while
I endlessly study my image in mirror and window glass
and hear the pursuers still sobbing and calling my name
in a woebegone voice fouled with time.

You stand tall on your feet above ground, full
of teeth and lightning.
You propagate kisses and deal death to the ant.
You moan with well-being, with bee and the onion,
you catch fire from your primer.
You are all green and blue, like a sword blade,
and you weave to my touch, like a river.

Come into my soul, dressed in white, like a branch
of blood-roses, like a chalice of ashes.
Come close with a horse and an apple:
there the sitting room waits in the dark, with a smashed
candelabrum,
till it be winter; a few twisted chairs
and a dead dove with a band and a number.

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