I have named you queen.
There are taller ones than you, taller.
There are purer ones than you, purer.
There are lovelier than you, lovelier.
But you are the queen.
When you go through the streets
no one recognizes you.
No one sees your crystal crown, no one looks
at the carpet of red gold
that you tread as you pass,
the nonexistent carpet.
And when you appear all the rivers sound
in my body, bells
shake the sky, and a hymn fills the world.
Only you and I,
only you and I, my love,
listen to it.
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 blooms
but carries in itself the light of hidden flowers;
thanks to your love a certain solid fragrance,
risen from the earth, lives darkly in my body.
I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where.
I love you straightforwardly, without complexities or pride;
so I love you because I know no other way
than this: where I does not exist, nor you,
so close that your hand on my chest is my hand,
so close that your eyes close as I fall asleep.—Pablo Neruda
There are days when existing
when the ache for
is stronger than the
of the sun.
I hope you never know that.
Snow falling and night falling fast, oh, fast
In a field I looked into going past,
And the ground almost covered smooth in snow,
But a few weeds and stubble showing last.
The woods around it have it—it is theirs.
All animals are smothered in their lairs.
I am too absent-spirited to count;
The loneliness includes me unawares.
And lonely as it is that loneliness
Will be more lonely ere it will be less—
A blanker whiteness of benighted snow
With no expression, nothing to express.
They cannot scare me with their empty spaces
Between stars—on stars where no human race is.
I have it in me so much nearer home
To scare myself with my own desert places.
You were blue today
So I told you, “You look nice.”
And you were still blue.
My home was not that yellow house
Where my mother took to alcohol
To quell the pains that I am only now
Given to understand.
My home was the yard behind it
On moonless nights
With 6,000 stars overhead
Where I’d find peace.
You can never go home again
Wrote Thomas Wolfe—how did he know
They’d build up my hometown
And need more streetlights?
Now my home is a Brigadoon
That returns on that rare night
When power fails
Under clear skies.
Who says that all must vanish?Who knows, perhaps the flight
of the bird you wound remains,
and perhaps flowers survive
caresses in us, in their ground.
It isn’t the gesture that lasts,
but it dresses you again in gold
armor —from breast to knees—
and the battle was so pure
an Angel wears it after you..