Pablo Neruda: Sonnet 43

Sonnet 43

I search for your trace in the faces of others,
in this rough, winding river of women,
in their braids and barely submerged eyes,
in their soft sliding steps skating out on the foam.

Sometimes, I find I can make out your nails:
fugitive, oval, children of cherry-trees.
Sometimes it’s your hair I catch flowing by,
burning into water your portrait of fire.

I searched, but no one else had your heartbeat.
No one else had your light, or your dark forest clay.
No one else had such delicate ears.

You are whole, exact, you are one apart from many.
And so I’ll go with you, traveling and loving,
a wide Mississippi into a feminine sea.

Pablo Neruda

Translated from Spanish by Paul Weinfield, ©2013

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