Love Sonnet VII
after Pablo Neruda
Ten buds blossom on my fingertips and twitch:
like a doe you nibble them, grow delirious in my arms,
and passion twists the tangled smoke of our faces,
contorted one minute with joy, the next with agony.
What kind of a world is this?—half-heartedly
mad for its other half, stumbling through the brambles
like a stampede of lepers, of chained evenings,
of hunchbacked matadors with their sluggish hooves?
I stand in open fields, open-hearted, offering myself—
but to whom? A spirit promised me eternal love
and left me more alone than if I’d slept with a whore.
“Until death do us part,” say the priests, but I say
death is the kiss that sends the mountains floating east
on broken seas, and bruises the Book of the west.
by Ryan Dowling