Leaning Into the Afternoons
Leaning into the afternoons, I cast my sad nets
toward your oceanic eyes.
There in the highest fire, my solitude stretches
and burns, its arms flailing like a drowned man’s.
I send out red signals across your absent eyes
that flutter like the sea at the edge of a lighthouse.
But you keep only darkness, distant female,
and in your gaze sometimes the coast of dread emerges.
Leaning into the afternoons, I fling my sad nets
toward a sea that is thrashed by your oceanic eyes.
The birds of night peck at the first stars
that flash like my soul when I love you.
The night gallops on its shadowy mare,
shedding blue tassels across the landscape.
— Pablo NerudaTranslated from Spanish by Paul Weinfield, © 2013