Theme for a Nocturne

When all the ants have come out of the clock
and the door to solitude opens at last,
will no longer find me.
She will look for me among trees driven mad
by the silence of one thing beyond another.
She will not find me on the raveled plateau
sensing her at the source of a rose.

I am slicing the fruit of insomnia
with a hand accidentally slashed.
And my house is open and undefended,
for death will no longer find me.

And she will have to seek me above trees and among clouds.
(Voice kindling fruit and color!)
And I cannot wait for her: I have a date
with life, at the windows of a song.

I hear steps — very far away?…
There’s still time to escape.
For the night to raise its stars,
a deep sound of shadows fell onto the sea.

And the blood explodes against my heart.
The falling dusk is so bright that I can undress.
Then when death comes to seek me,
she will find only my clothing.

Carlos Pellicer
Translation by Rachel Benson

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