Julio Cortázar: “After Such Pleasures”

After Such Pleasures

Tonight, searching for your mouth in another mouth,
almost believing, because the river is that blind
that draws me into a woman and plunges me deep
between her eyelids,
and it’s sad, in the end, to swim to the shore of sleep,
knowing that pleasure is a cowardly slave
who takes counterfeit coins, and circulates them
with a smile.

Forgotten purity, how could I hope to recover
the sadness of Buenos Aires, that expectation
without hope or pause?
Alone in my open home, above the port,
to begin to love you again
to meet you in the morning for coffee again
with nothing that can’t be forgiven
having happened.
And without having to recall the forgetfulness
that rises up for no reason,
to erase your stick-figures from the blackboard
and leave me nothing but a window without stars.

Julio Cortázar

Translated from Spanish by Paul Weinfield, © 2015

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