Ghazal of the Terrible Presence
I want the river to stand still,
And the wind to stop stirring the air.
I want the night to remain sightless,
And my heart to beat without flowering gold.
I want the oxen to speak with the leaves,
And the earthworm to die of darkness.
The skull’s teeth to shine a bright light,
And yellows to flood the silk.
I can see the pain of the wounded night
As it fights, entangled with day.
I can bear the sunset of poison green
And the warping arc where time begins to sag,
But I can’t look upon you clean and naked,
Like a black cactus broken open in the brush.
Leave me longing for distant planets,
But don’t show me your virgin waist.
Federico García Lorca, Diván del Tamarit. Translated by Amy Rodriguez