Here I Love You

“Here I love you and the horizon hides you in vain.
I love you still among these cold things.
Sometimes my kisses go on those heavy vessels
that cross the sea towards no arrival.
I see myself forgotten like those old anchors.
The piers sadden when the afternoon moors there. 
My life grows tired, hungry to no purpose.
I love what I do not have. You are so far.
My loathing wrestles with the slow twilights.
But night comes and starts to sing to me.” 
― Pablo NerudaTwenty Love Poems and a Song of Despair


The Return Journey


My life was a geography
I surveyed over and over again,
a book of maps or dreams.
In America I awakened.

Were these perhaps dreams of rivers and towns?
Was there nothing real about these countries?
Are there three steps in my journey:
dreaming, waking, and dying?

I’ve fallen asleep among statues
and upon waking found myself alone.
Where are the benevolent shadows?
Did I love and in truth was I loved?

It was a geography of dream,
a magical history.
I know by memory the islands and faces
visited or, perhaps, dreamed.

Upon the spoils of the universe
– fruit, woman, the immensity –
fell all of my inebriated senses,
like drunken pirates of the sea.

At last I found in harbor,
a naked girl, perfectly shaped:
in her great, tremulous water
I quenched my human thirst.

Later came the maiden of wheat,
the vegetal virgin;
but, always, from each door
the eternal Other called me.

From snow to palm tree
I saw cities of the earth
where God had cleaned the windows
and no one wanted to die.

I saw the arid earth of the bull
– last refuge of blue –
and a country where pine trees
raised their green obelisks to the light.

Did I dream this face on the wall,
that hand upon my skin?
This street of apples
and doves, did I dream it all?

The harbor like equal sections
of a crystal watermelon,
and islands like seeds:
was this a dream and nothing more?

Is this dust the mortal ash
that still clings to my feet?
Were they not harbors but years,
those places I anchored in?

Only in the most distinct languages
did I become fluent in solitude
and graduated as a doctor of dreams.
I came to America to awake.

Again, in my throat burns
the thirst to live, the thirst to die,
and so I humbly bend down
to this earth of maize.

Land of fruit and tombs,
sole property of the sun:
I come from the world – O great dream! –
with a map scrolled in my voice.

-Jorge Carrera Andrade

Deaths And Entrances by Dylan Thomas

On almost the incendiary eve
Of several near deaths,
When one at the great least of your best loved
And always known must leave
Lions and fires of his flying breath,
Of your immortal friends
Who’d raise the organs of the counted dust
To shoot and sing your praise,
One who called deepest down shall hold his peace
That cannot sink or cease
Endlessly to his wound
In many married London’s estranging grief.

On almost the incendiary eve
When at your lips and keys,
Locking, unlocking, the murdered strangers weave,
One who is most unknown,
Your polestar neighbour, sun of another street,
Will dive up to his tears.
He’ll bathe his raining blood in the male sea
Who strode for your own dead
And wind his globe out of your water thread
And load the throats of shells
with every cry since light
Flashed first across his thunderclapping eyes.

On almost the incendiary eve
Of deaths and entrances,
When near and strange wounded on London’s waves
Have sought your single grave,
One enemy, of many, who knows well

Your heart is luminous
In the watched dark, quivering through locks and caves,
Will pull the thunderbolts
To shut the sun, plunge, mount your darkened keys
And sear just riders back,
Until that one loved least
Looms the last Samson of your zodiac.


Congress Street by Leah Grace O’Brien


There once was a time
when I drank beer in the shower
and listened to Lady Day 
on the busted old record player
it wasn't romantic or interesting
being poor hardly ever is
unless you have a good imagination
and know how to get what you want
but I lacked talent when it came to
such things
and couldn't even barter a new shower faucet
from the ancient handyman
who lived on the top floor