Saturday, September 20, 2008

When I Die

When I die, I want your hands on my eyes:
I want the light and the wheat of your beloved hands
to pass their freshness over me once more:
I want to feel the softness that changed my destiny.

I want you to live while I wait for you, asleep.
I want your ears still to hear the wind, I want you
to sniff the sea's aroma that we loved together,
to continue to walk on the sand we walk on.

I want what I love to continue to live,
and you whom I love and sang above everything else
to continue to flourish, full-flowered:

so that you can reach everything my love directs you to,
so that my shadow can travel along in your hair,
so that everything can learn the reason for my song.

-- Pablo Neruda
to his beloved wife, Matilde

Love Sonnet LXXXIX


It's been a hard few weeks, as the fall wimpers into Los Angeles and things begin to change.

I'm not one for poetry but somehow ended up with Ten Poems to Open Your Heart in my possession. This poem did not open my heart -- IT CRACKED IT WIDE OPEN.

I still cannot read the first line without my guts flayed on the floor -- I cannot imagine that truest love there to close my eyes when I pass from this earth.

And that's what's so sad -- to know and finally admit that I want love that hard and that lasting -- to not have it now wrestles me to my core.....

Yet some very strong and knowing women encourage me to read this poem every day... to flex this open heart, and to keep it wide open. Love will come, they say. We promise.

And so I begin again:

When I die I want your hands on my eyes...