The Whole Hunger of My Life

Valerie Mejer

Dressed in an interior stitched to what surrounds me,
where I sit to hear a lullaby
that I had never heard:
               each flower has its own mountain . . .
And just as I get used to being
here between mountain ranges
that clutch us in their fists:
               there is no site outside of the universe
               no site where I can enter
               without feeling the whole hunger of my life.

Desperate, she tore from her throat the necklace,
and the beads went flying:
look how the planets resemble
those corals.
               She thinks of Saturn now, of its rings
and now of that early morning, him
leaving your house beneath the rain:
All sad things are alike
and one tear
               resembles the others.

Show me your human side
               and your torso
               tell me something
so the foam, so the sea's distant foam
enters the room
while you are running out of the face
you wear on the street.
A god sweetly conceals itself behind your forehead
intimidated like a small, panicked animal.
               I'm going to stay here
               until it decides to come out.
I have bread, the fire burning,
some soup.

The righteous are right: you must live
and love and never die.
You must obey the ads
and why not at the same time
And you must also abhor it all
                feel the tunnel that opens inside your house
                where what's missing is better than what's left over
this space is better,
                the large space that lets you watch
                at your leisure
                                         the cold show of the night sky.

translated from the Spanish by Torin Jensen