Unceasing lightning

(In Orihuela, his town and mine, death
has taken from me,

as if struck by lightning, Ramón Sijé,
with whom I shared so much love.)

I want to be, crying, the peasant
that works the earth you occupy and fertilise,
companion of my soul, so soon.

My grief without instrument feeds
the rains, makes horns and organs sound,
and to the dispirited poppies

I will give your heart as food.
So much pain gathers in my side,
that it even pains me to breathe.

A hard slap, a frozen blow,
an invisible and murderous stroke of the axe,
a brutal shove has brought you down.

There is nothing longer than my wound,
I weep for all my misfortunes
and I feel more for your death than for my own life.

I walk on the stubble of the dead,
and with warmth from no-one and unconsolable,
I make my way from my heart to my daily business.

So soon death has risen up in flight,
so soon dawn has dawned,
so soon you are rolling on the ground.

I cannot forgive that lover, death,
I cannot forgive thoughtless life,

In my hands I raise a storm
of strident stones, bolts of lightning and axes,
thirsting and hungering for catastrophes.

I want to scrape at the earth with my teeth,
I want to split the earth apart bit by bit
with dry, hot bites.

I want to mine into the earth until I find you
and kiss your noble skull
and take your shroud from you and bring you back.

You will come back to my garden and my fig tree:
among the high flowery trellises
your soul will flit like a bee in its hive

sewn with the wax of angels.
You will come back to the murmuring
of farm-workers at their beloveds’ windows.

You will cheer up the shadow over my eyebrows,
and from either side your beloved and the bees
will argue over your blood.

Your heart, now wrinkled velvet,
calls my greedy lovers’ voice
to a field of foaming almonds.

I want to be with you under the winged souls
of the roses of the cream-coloured almond tree,
for we have many things to talk of, companion of my soul, my companion.

10 January 1936