Tuesday, December 23, 2003

How Much Happens In A Day

In the course of a day we see one another.
Within a day things grow,
grapes are sold in the streets,
tomatoes change their skins
And the boy you liked
didn't come back to the office.

They changed the mailman.
Our letters are no longer the same.
Leaves turn gold and it is different:
this tree is wealthy now.

Who would tell us that this earth,
with its ancient skin, can change so much?
It has more volcanoes than yesterday,
the sky has new clouds,
and the rivers run in new directions.
And then, how much has been built!
I have inaugurated thousands of
highways, buildings,
bridges, so clean and thin,
like ships or violins.

Because of this, when I greet you
and kiss your sweet mouth,
our kisses are other kisses,
our mouths are other mouths.

Joy, my love, joy in everything
that falls and that flourishes.
Joy for yesterday and for today,
for the day before and for tomorrow.
Joy for the bread and the stone,
joy for the fire and for the rain.

For what changes, is born, grows,
consumes itself and becomes a kiss again.

Joy for what we know of air
and what we have of earth.

When this life dries up
and all we have are roots,
The wind is cold like hate.

Then we change our skins,
our nails, our blood, our appearance,
And you kiss me and I go out
to sell light in the streets.

Joy in the night and the day
and the four stations of the soul.

- Pablo Neruda, 1957

(Thanks to Emilio Mercado, who posted this in the comments on the solstice.)

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