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        AT A DISTANCE...

Your widow life will adorn that day in jewels...
In the wild charm of the village
Your arcane profile was a wound;
Unusual, alarming, it suggested
The enamel of a precious gem
Upon a mountainous breast.

Through the mouth of the open window sighed
All the orchard in bloom, and the sunny room
Was itself all the village;
Remember?... Upon me was projected,
More mortal than your shadow on the wall,
Your solemn sorrow of one gone astray...
Your hands, elongated by grasping toward fate,
All pale by trying to shroud dreams,
Seemed to touch me from a distance...
Your eyes were an infinite path
And new moons grew out below your eyes;
In only one kiss we became old...

—Oh, kiss!... flower of four petals... two of knowledge
And two illumined by innocence…
The chalice an abyss, enrapturing and somber.—
By a miracle of melancholy,
Marble or brass I shattered in your hand
Spilling my spirit, like a pomander of essence.

Your widowed life will adorn that day in jewels...
My nostalgia has painted your Wagnerian profile
Upon the tremendous veil of absence.


Delmira Agustini
Translation by Alejandro Cáceres

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Selected Poetry of Delmira Agustini: Poetics of Eros. Contributors: Alejandro Cáceres - editor, Willis Barnstone - unknown. Publisher: Southern Illinois University Press. Place of Publication: Carbondale, IL. Publication Year: 2003