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        LETTER

The pigeon-house of letters
launches impossible flights
from the rickety tables
where memory leans,
absence’s weight,
the heart, the silence.

I hear the wing-beat of letters
sailing towards their fate.

Wherever I go I meet
with women and with men
injured by absence,
worn away by time.

Letters, tales, letters:
postcards and dreams,
fragments of tenderness
hurled towards the sky,
sent from blood to blood
from longing to longing.

Although beneath the earth
my loving body may lie,
write to me on earth,
so that I can reply.


In a corner hush
old letters, old scraps.
with the colour of age
coating the writing.
There letters perish
full of trembling.
There ink suffers
and pages fade,
and paper tears,
in a little graveyard
of passions past
of loves to come.

Although beneath the earth
my loving body may lie,
write to me on earth,
so that I can reply.


When I write to you
the inkwell stirs,
the cold black well
blushes and trembles,
and a clear human warmth
rises from dark depths.
When I write to you,
my bones begin to write:
I write with indelible ink
of my feelings to you.

There goes my warm letter,
a pigeon forged in flame,
with its folded wings
in the midst its address.
Bird that simply heads for
its nest through air and sky,
your flesh, your hands, your eyes,
and the spaces of your breath.

And you will be naked
beneath your feelings,
unclothed, so as to feel
it all against your breast.

Although beneath the earth
my loving body may lie,
write to me on earth,
so that I can reply.


Yesterday a letter remained
abandoned and unclaimed,
hovering over the eyes
of one whose body was lost.
Letters remain alive
speaking for the dead:
Paper, yearning, human,
without eyes to read it.

Though the teeth chatter,
I hear it growing louder
the soft voice of your letter
like an immense clamour.
I’ll welcome it in sleep,
if I can’t stay awake.
And my wounds will be
flowing wells of ink,
mouths that will tremble
remembering your kisses,
and in their unheard voice
they will murmur: I love you.

autógrafo

Miguel Hernández
Translation by Dan Share


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