Love Sonnet V
after Pablo Neruda
Love, how like a winter we are. You bury me
in white solitudes—under many snows, you keep me.
Love, you regard me coldly, and the one I love
is a wind that howls in my ear its frosts, its ghosts
as stoic as Eskimos in the glacier-faced North.
So my mouth, like a trap, opens to sing;
and in the jaws of my song is your paw, my lynx.
Quit gnawing yourself! I want to set you free.
Botched surgeries, razors, worms, cancers, aches:
we undressed and paid violence to our vulnerabilities;
you made me want to live like a cold planet,
to ice my doubts in enormous winters of space.
My kiss would only bloody your snow. In your arms,
I grow so old. Look, a chill has taken the moon.
by Ryan Dowling