Octavio Paz: “A Hill of Stars”

A Hill of Stars

Here the old ones receive their fire
Here the fire once created the world
At noon the rocks open up like fruits
Water peels the eyelids back
Light slips into the skin of the day
An enormous drop where time
Is sated and reflected

The day stamps in like a Spanish dancer
A rumor of birds and leaves advances
A vague sensation of seas and women
The daytime hums in my head like an obsession
It hums ceaselessly in the head of the whole world
Light runs everywhere
Singing on terraces
Making houses dance
Beneath the cool hands of the ivy light
The wall wakes up and raises its towers
Stones drop their clothes
The water gets naked and jumps out of bed
More naked than water
The light too is naked, watching itself in the water
More naked than the stars
And bread gets broken and wine overflows
And the day is poured out across outstretched water
To see to hear to touch to smell to taste to think
Lips or earth or breezes between sailboats
The taste of a day that slips away like music
The rumor of light that leads a girl by the hand
And leaves her naked in the middle of the day
No one knows her name or why she has come here
Like a layer of water she lies down beside me
The sun stands still for a moment just to see her
His light gets lost between her legs
And my gaze like water flows all around her
She bathes in it more naked than water
Like light she has no name of her own
Like light she changes with the changing day

Octavio Paz

Translated from Spanish by Paul Weinfield, © 2015

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