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    THE MOUTH

Mouth that tugs at my mouth.
Mouth that has tugged at me:
mouth that comes from far off
to illuminate me with its rays.

Dawn that gives to my nights
a radiance, reddened and white.
Mouth inhabited by mouths:
bird filled with birds.
Song that flaps its wings
upwards and downwards.
Death reduced to kisses,
dying slowly to thirst,
you give the blood-stained grass
two great beats of your wing.
The upper lip is the sky,
and the earth is the lower lip.

Kiss that wheels in the darkness:
kiss that comes rolling
from the first cemetery
to the last stars.
Star that holds your mouth
dumb and enclosed,
until a celestial dew comes
to quiver your eyelids.

Kiss that moves to a future
of young girls and boys,
who won’t leave the streets
or the fields empty.

How many mouth-less mouths
already buried we disinter!
I drink from your mouth to them,
toast them from your mouth,
as many as fell: over the wine
in their loving glasses.
They are memories, memories,
kisses distant and bitter.

I sink my life in your mouth,
I hear the murmurs of space,
and infinity seems
to have emptied itself over me.

I have to return to kiss you,
I have to return. I sink: I fall,
descending among the centuries,
towards the deep ravines,
like a feverish snowfall
of kisses and lovers.

Mouth that unearthed
the clearest dawn,
with your tongue. Three words,
you’ve inherited, three fires:
Life, Death, Love. There they remain
written on your lips.

autógrafo

Miguel Hernández
Translation by A. S. Kline


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