December 26, 2011

You go as naked as my thoughts

~an excerpt from Octavio Paz's extraordinary poem SUNSTONE.
Go ahead and dive in, you'll feel better afterwards.

	I go among your body as among the world,
	your belly the sunlit center of the city,
	your breasts two churches where are celebrated
	the great parallel mysteries of the blood,
	the looks of my eyes cover you like ivy,
	you are a city by the sea assaulted,
	you are a rampart by the light divided
	into two halves, distinct, color of peaches,
	and you are saltiness, you are rocks and birds
	beneath the edict of concentrated noon 

	and dressed in the coloring of my desires
	you go as naked as my thoughts go naked,
	I go among your eyes as I swim water,
	the tigers come to these eyes to drink their dreams,
	the hummingbird is burning among these flames,
	I go upon your forehead as on the moon,
	like cloud I go among your imagining
	journey your belly as I journey your dream, 

	your loins are harvest, a field of waves and singing,
	your loins are crystal and your loins are water,
	your lips, your hair, the looks you give me, they
	all night shower down like rain, and all day long
	you open up my breast with your fingers of water,
	you close my eyelids with your mouth of water,
	raining upon my bones, and in my breast
	the roots of water drive deep a liquid tree, 

	I travel through your waist as through a river,
	I voyage your body as through a grove going,
	as by a footpath going up a mountain
	and suddenly coming upon a steep ravine
	I go the straitened way of your keen thoughts
	break through to daylight upon your white forehead
	and there my spirit flings itself down, is shattered
	now I collect my fragments one by one
	and go on, bodiless, searching, in the dark....

	you take on the likeness of a tree, a cloud,
	you are all birds and now you are a star,
	now you resemble the sharp edge of a sword
	and now the executioner's bowl of blood,
	the encroaching ivy that over grows and then
	roots out the soul and divides it from itself, 

	writing of fire on the slab of jade,
	the cleft in the rock, serpent-goddess and queen,
	pillar of cloud, and fountain struck from the stone,
	the nest of eagles, the circle of the moon,
	the seed of anise, mortal and smallest thorn
	that has the power to give immortal pain,
	shepherd of valleys underneath the sea
	and guardian of the valley of the dead,
	liana that hangs at the pitch of vertigo,
	climber and bindweed and the venomous plant,
	flower of resurrection and grape of life,
	lady of the flute and of the lightning-flash,
	terrace of jasmine, and salt rubbed in the wound,
	a branch of roses for the man shot down,
	snowstorm in August, moon of the harrowing,
	the writing of the sea cut in basalt,
	the writing of the wind upon the desert,
	testament of the sun, pomegranate, wheat-ear....

                         	life and death
	are reconciled in thee, lady of midnight,
	tower of clarity, empress of daybreak,
	moon virgin, mother of all mother liquids,
	body and flesh of the world, the house of death,
	I have been endlessly falling since my birth,
	I fall in my own self, never touch my depth,
	gather me in your eyes, at last bring together
	my scattered dust, make peace among my ashes,
	bind the dismemberment of my bones, and breathe
	upon my being, bring me to earth in your earth,
	your silence of peace to the intellectual act
	against itself aroused;
                         open now your hand
	lady of the seeds of life, seeds that are days,
	day is an immortality, it rises, it grows,
	is done with being born and never is done,
	every day is a birth, and every daybreak
	another birthplace and I am the break of day,
	we all dawn on the day, the sun dawns and
	daybreak is the face of the sun....

	gate of our being, awaken me, bring dawn,
	grant that I see the face of the living day,
	grant that I see the face of this live night,
	everything speaks now, everything is transformed,
	O arch of blood, bridge of our pulse beating,
	carry me through to the far side of this night....

	gateway of being: open your being, awaken,
	learn then to be, begin to carve your face,
	develop your elements, and keep your vision
	keen to look at my face, as I at yours,
	keen to look full at life right through to death,
	faces of sea, of bread, of rock, of fountain,
	the spring of origin which will dissolve our faces
	in the nameless face, existence without face
	the inexpressible presence of presences...

	I want to go on, to go beyond; I cannot;
	the moment scatters itself in many things,
	I have slept the dreams of the stone that never dreams
	and deep among the dreams of years like stones
	have heard the singing of my imprisoned blood,
	with a premonition of light the sea sang,
	and one by one the barriers give way,
	all of the gates have fallen to decay,
	the sun has forced an entrance through my forehead,
	has opened my eyelids at last that were kept closed,
	unfastened my being of its swaddling clothes,
	has rooted me out of my self, and separated
	me from my animal sleep centuries of stone
	and the magic of reflections resurrects
	willow of crystal, a poplar of water,
	a pillar of fountain by the wind drawn over,
	tree that is firmly rooted and that dances,
	turning course of a river that goes curving,
	advances and retreats, goes roundabout,
	arriving forever:

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