from Itineraries by Pablo Neruda

Suddenly, as I am walking,
from somewhere there emerges
the smell of stone or rain,
something so infinitely pure
which comes from somewhere or other,
and talks to me without words;
and I recognize a mouth
which is not there, which goes on talking.
I look for the source of that aura–
from what city, from what journey–
I know that someone is looking for me,
someone is lost in the darkness.
And I don’t know, if someone has kissed me,
what those kisses could mean.

Perhaps I have put myself in order,
beginning with my head.
I’m going to divide into numbered squares
my brain and my cerebellum,
and when a memory crops up
I will say ‘a hundred and something’.
Then I will recognize
the wall and the climbing vine,
and perhaps I’ll entertain myself
giving names to forgotten things.
In any case, here
I propose to end all this,
and before going back to Brazil
by way of Antofagasta,
in Isla Negra I am waiting
between yesterday and Valparaisio.

translated by Alastair Reid

2 thoughts on “from Itineraries by Pablo Neruda

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