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I hear you undress in the backlight

 


I hear you undress in the backlight

- Víctor Rodríguez Núñez (Cuba)

 

one day I leave without opening the door

no warning from the crow

                                          and the snowy horse

that pulls the manure-filled wagon

erases me with its breath

                                         like soot it vanishes

in a horizon vertical

planted among the lilies

 

its scent pulses in my chest

renounces itself

                          reddens the maples

outside speechless

I hear you undress back to the light

I’m not what I will be or what I was

experience ferment

                                hard eclipse

 

but you point me out

in the unsatisfied crowd

push me toward the thalamus

in between walls of a strange balance

show your breasts

                              deaf to reason

your hips tunneling

until the soil falls to my mouth

 

the waking rave

                           to the deathlute

the sleeping have died and take pleasure

whether or not they wait for resurrection

at this point nobody

                                  ought to dodge nothingness

like in the case of the secret lover

it’s enough to not invoke her sourish name

 

you have to want it

with all the castlings of your anima

with all the bees of your body

and if one betrays you

                                     if one turns its back on you

a term an instant

                            you won’t get there

death is only frightened by desire

 

the corroded city gets a move on

even if the roosters don’t crow

the gravediggers in blue overalls

surface from the emptiness

lime and idleness rule

                                    as do stolen carnations

 the age undresses

no shadow or shame

 

some mossy bones on top of jute sacks

in some way

                    in search of a tomb

the certainty of finding it enlivens

once and for all deserted past future

and present the mist

                                  where you can’t make out

the garbage I just took to the curb

 

home returning through the closed door

old metaphor of the light

is a bent nail that can’t

hold these shafts against the sky

the shadow disjoins

                                 no structure

with its calcinated pine breath

death is not the inverse of life

translated by Katherine M. Hedeen