Love, Will It Be
Love, will it be that you are nothing more
than a long goodbye that never ends?
Life, from its start, is separation.
In our first encounters
with light and lips,
our hearts already feel the sorrow
of having to be blind and lonely some day.
And love is simply the miraculous delay
of its own termination:
just a way to prolong the magic trick
in which one and one make two
till life’s sentence comes to pass.
with aches, with chests torn open,
in twisting plots, among the many joys
that seem like games,
whole days and lands and fabulous spaces
all lead to the great disjunction that awaits,
the sister of death or death himself.
Each perfect kiss pushes time a bit back,
casts it aside, extends the brief world
where kisses are still possible.
Neither in arriving nor being revealed
does love attain its highest peak:
No, we feel it most
when we fight separation,
soaring, naked, and trembling.
And separation is not the moment
when arms, or voices,
wave goodbye with signs.
It is earlier and later than we believe.
And if we hold hands, if we embrace,
it isn’t because we are going anywhere,
it is only because the soul feels blindly
that the only possible union there is
is a long and clear and steady goodbye.
The steadiest thing is goodbye.
Pedro Salinas y Serrano
Translated from Spanish by Paul Weinfield, © 2016
Photo by Katia Chausheva