Saturday, July 05, 2008

Elegy - Miguel Hernández.

Ramón, right now I want to be
the mournful friend who tends the ground
you fertilize and lie in, gave too soon.

Since this useless grief of mine
likes the taste of rain, snail shells,
the organs of the body,
I'll go ahead and feed your heart

to the disheartened poppies.
Grief bunches up between my ribs,
each breath I take is painful.

The hard slap of a hand, an icy fist,
that violent, that fatal, unseen
blow of an ax has cut you down.

There's nothing big enough to stick my hurt in.
I cry anguished tears,
I feel your death more than my life.

I walk across the stubble of the dead:
no warmth, no consolation from a single body.
I leave this heart of mine behind and try to go on living.

Death flew away with you too early,
that morning came before it should have,
before your time you are in the ground.

Lovesick death will get no forgiveness out of me,
none for this thankless life,
none for the earth, nor for the black nothing.

In these hands of mine a storm made of rocks
in brewing, lightning, vicious axes
dry and starving for catastrophes.

I want to dig up the earth with my teeth,
I want to take dry, fiery bites
pulling it apart bit by bit.

I want to tear up the earth until I find you,
so I can kiss your noble skull,
bandage your mouth, and bring you back to life.

You will come back to the fig tree in my backyard:
your soul will be at peace there,
high up among the blossoms, gathering

the wax and honey of angelic hives.
You'll come back to words whispered through
grillwork windows by romantic field hands.

You'll blow away the shadows on my brow,
and your woman and the bees will take
turns claiming your blood as theirs.

Your heart, now only crumpled velvet,
calls from a field of surf-like almond trees
to my voice, wanting and full of love.

And I call you to come to the milky
almond blossoms who are souls flying.
I miss you, Ramón. Ramón, we still have
so many things to talk about.