WHAT DO YOU LOVE WHEN YOU LOVE?
What do you love when you love, my God: the terrible light of life
or the light of death? What do you seek or find, what
is this: love? Who is it? woman, with her depth, her roses, volcanoes,
or this red sun, which is my furious blood
when I enter into her up to the final roots?
Or is it all a great game, my God, and there is no woman
nor man but one body only: yours,
split up in stars of beauty, in fleeting particles
of visible eternity?
I’m dying in this, oh God, in this war
of coming and going among women in the streets, of not being able to love
three hundred of them at a time, because I am always condemned to one,
to this one, to this only one whom you gave me in the old paradise.
Translated by John Oliver Simon