Translated from the Portuguese by Mark A. Lokensgard
It’s the silence, it’s the cigarette and the lit candle.
The bookcase looks at me in every book that looks.
And the light on one of the volumes on the table. . .
But it is the blood of the light on each page.
I do not know if it is really my hand that wets
The pen, or really instinct that grips it tightly.
I think of a present, of a past. And your nature
Covers Nature itself with leaves.
But it is a meddling with things. . . Agitated
I take up my pen, I dupe myself into thinking I describe
The illusion of one sense and another sense.
So distant it goes!
So distant your step becomes soft
A wing that the ear animates. . .
And the chamber mute. And the parlor mute, mute. . .
Voicelessly red. The wing of the rhyme
Holds me aloft. I remain there like a new
Buddha, a specter to the approaching sound,
The bookcase grows as if shaking off
A nightmare of papers piled on top. . .
And I open the window. From the moon
Are wisping some last wavering notes. . . The day
Will bloom late through the mountain.
And oh! my beloved, feeling is blind. . .
Do you see? To my longing contribute the spider,
A cat’s paws and a bat’s wings.