Love Sonnet IV
after Pablo Neruda
Do not leave us like a rose in a vase,
with its roots in the sunset, a slow-dying thing.
Away with you once and for all! Leave me swiftly
as a bullet, a flash at the fall of a guillotine,
a sudden autumn, but no more a rose,
not the stalk of my body nor the petals of your eyes.
See how I set you seaward on a flaming skiff,
pale and without a pulse, your face no face at all?
So wherever I have planted myself, burn it down;
wherever our vines intertwine, burn it away.
Is it true, my love, you’ve swallowed my life seed?
As it swells in your belly, my wheel turns in yours,
inextricably, and you must burn even this
and turn with it in the winter wind.
by Ryan Dowling