Friday, July 01, 2011

"Sonnet XI" by Pablo Neruda

I crave your mouth, your voice, your hair.
Silent and starving, I prowl through the streets.
Bread does not nourish me, dawn disrupts me, all day
I hunt for the liquid measure of your steps.

I hunger for your sleek laugh,
your hands the color of a savage harvest,
hunger for the pale stones of your fingernails,
I want to eat your skin like a whole almond.

I want to eat the sunbeam flaring in your lovely body,
the sovereign nose of your arrogant face,
I want to eat the fleeting shade of your lashes,

and I pace around hungry, sniffing the twilight,
hunting for you, for your hot heart,
like a puma in the barrens of Quitratue.

--Pablo Neruda

Monday, May 23, 2011

Where Have You Gone?

(This is one I wrote some time ago, but didn't post, for whatever reason. I found it in a notebook and thought I should put it up here before I lose it, as I don't think it's *entirely* terrible.)

Where have you gone? I've searched and searched for years
with no result. An obsolete e-mail,
an out-of-date address; the track gone stale
and no new clues. Still, no one disappears--

The world's not half as big now as it was
when Fate threw us together that first night
and we our bodies; touch and taste and sight
remain as sensual memory always does.

On college websites, Facebook--lost, I try
to find you, in my dotage looking back
to where the ghost of you burns like a flame;
I still can feel your heat, and hear your cry
of pleasure--then your form dissolves to black
and leaves me in the dark, Googling your name. 


Tuesday, March 15, 2011


You always kept some water by the bed
in case you woke up thirsty in the night.
I still remember that—and how the light
cut fault-lines through the glass. And once you said
you felt just like the white stray cat you fed
with scraps on paper plates you left outside.
When she stopped coming round, Lord, how you cried—
the water down your face, eyes puffed and red.

I think sometimes about the night you tried
to make me say I loved you—how the bright
blue tears stood in your eyes, where gold light bled
its heart-breaking refraction; how the sight
drew out my ugly truth; and how instead,
now knowing what I owe—I should have lied.


Happy birthday, Berta, wherever you are.

Original version on The Sonnet Project, December 29, 2006 (link)
Published at The Hypertexts, November 2008 (link)