Jorge Luis Borges: “Susana Bombal”

Susana Bombal

Tall in the evening, exalted and proud,
she crosses her chaste garden and suddenly
is caught in the light of an irreversible moment
that gives to us this garden and this image,
silent and profound.  I see her here and now,
but at the same time, I see her in the antique
twilight of an ancient Babylonian town
or slowly descending the shallow steps
of a temple now reduced to the infinite dust
of a planet once built of stone and pride
or deciphering the magical alphabets
of stars lying deep in distant latitudes
or breathing the scent of an English rose.
Wherever there is music, she is too,
in the soft blue of the sky, in Grecian verses,
in the solitudes of we who seek her,
in the mirror of water that flows from the fountain,
in the marble of time, in a sharpened sword,
in the serenity of an open terrace
that looks upon the gardens and the sunsets.

And behind all the myths and masks:
her soul, which is always alone.

Jorge Luis Borges

Translated from Spanish by Paul Weinfield, © 2015

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