Saturday, 24 April 2021

High above the Dark City - Jaime Saenz

One night on a rain-glistened road high above the dark city
with its now-distant tumult
she will certainly sigh
I will sigh
holding hands a long time within the grove
her eyes clear as the comet passes
—her face come from the sea her eyes in the sky my voice inside her voice
her mouth in the shape of an apple her hair in the shape of a dream
in each pupil a look never seen
her eyelashes a trail of light a torrent of fire
everything will be mine somersaulting with gladness
I'll cut off a hand for each of her sighs I'll gouge out an eye for each smile
I'll die once twice three times four times a thousand times
just to expire on her lips
with a saw I'll hack through my ribs to hand her my heart
with a needle I'll draw out my sweetest soul to surprise her
on Friday evenings
with the night air singing a song I propose to live for three hundred years
in the loveliness of her company.

Jaime Saenz (1921 – 1986) Bolivia
Translated by Kent Johnson and Forrest Gander
Source: Immanent Visitor, Selected Poems of Jaime Saenz, Translated by Kent Johnson and
Forrest Gander, University of California Press, 2002

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