Gacela of the Memory of Love
Please don’t take your memory.
Let it stay here in my chest:
a shivering thing, like a cherry tree
that January has undressed.
I’m divided from the dead souls
by a dream-wall of disaster.
I give the pain of fresh-cut lilies
to a heart made out of plaster.
My eyes stay up in the orchard
like dogs in their nighttime lairs.
I spend the long night feasting
on a meal of poisonous pears.
Oftentimes the blowing wind
is a tulip made of fright,
a tulip made of sickness
at the end of a winter’s night.
A dream-wall of disaster
keeps the dead from coming in.
The fog lays down its silence
on the gray valley of your skin.
Around the arch where we first met,
the hemlock has progressed.
Please don’t take your memory,
let it stay here in my chest.
Federico García Lorca
Translated from Spanish by Paul Weinfield © 2016
Photo by Antonio Palmerini