Words on Wednesday: Absence

Vilhelm_Melbye_-_Waves_crashing_on_a_rocky_coastlineThey’re cutting into the wall in my upstairs bath, trying to find the leak that has driven me out of my office. (It’s hard to write when there’s a sawzall buzzing in the background.) So, for today, I’ll give you other words. Some of my favorites from Pablo Neruda. The Captain’s Verses. Translation from the Spanish by Donald D. Walsh.



I have scarcely left you

when you go in me, crystalline,

or trembling,

or uneasy, wounded by me

or overwhelmed with love, as when your eyes

close upon the gift of life

that without cease I give you.


My love,

we have found each other

thirsty and we have

drunk up all the water and the blood,

we found each other


and we bit each other

as fire bites,

leaving wounds in us.


But wait for me,

keep for me your sweetness.

I will give you too

a rose.

Painting above from Vilhelm Melbye.

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