from Rhymes

Luis Rosales

Growing Towards the Earth

When night comes and all leans on darkness,
when the night comes the sea might be asleep,
and all its strength may not suffice to move a single grain of sand,
to lend a smile to another face,
and a child may be born among its waves
when the night comes.
When night comes and the truth is a word like any other,
when all the dead holding hands form a chain around the world,
the blind may begin to walk as roots walk the slumbering earth;
they will walk holding the same heart from hand to hand,
and finding each other at last
they will touch their faces and bodies but not say their names,
and will experience a manual faith sharing its sap between them,
and the dead and the living will grow
within each other,
shaping a single tree that will fill the world completely,
when the night comes.

The Secret

Like a child who's been left alone
ever since that day when, trembling amidst the dark,
he felt his heart beating higher each time,
with a firm and possessive beat that was branch where he was
               hanging himself.
And since then he understood that wealth is like a belfry where the fear
               that erected it still resounds in the night,
and he turned stubborn and red-blooded like an ant which grew as big
               as a cry,
and he turned sweet like a blind horse kneeling by the sea,
and he slowly became clear like the question on the judge's lips,
because he knows himself erected upon fear,
because he knows there is no power in which man can harden
               and strengthen as much as fear,
and because he feels that he carries, still, over his shoulders, protecting him,
the hanged corpse of that child whose heart, perhaps, one day grew
               too much. 

The Transfiguration

I feel your whole body under mine.
Your flesh
                      like an ember,
fresh and essential,
flowing towards
my body, through a bridge
of slow and syllabic honey.
There's a single moment when the body
and the soul come together,
and feel reciprocal,
                                 and live
their transfiguration,
                                     and step one ahead
of the other in the same surrender
desired from the same origin.
I feel your lips on my lips, I feel
your skin naked and eager,
and I feel,
                               that sudden freshness
like a blaze
of eternity, in which the flesh stops
being flesh and comes loose,
disperses in flight,
                                and starts falling
on the sleepwalking earth
of your body that gives
endlessly giving,
the flight ends and the flesh lies already
still, miracled,
and returns my body,
                                      and all has been
a shock, a brilliance and then nothing.

translated from the Spanish by Gonzalo Melchor