I who live close by
bear witness that at certain hours
of the night or day
it floods the areas of the square where it lives
and enters the windows of neighboring houses;
it's more important than the corporeal
beauty of the trees because even the blind can see it
through the illusion of perfume,
as through music.
Often, at any hour,
I tried like a sleuth to find where that heavenly
fragrance came from and I reached the conclusion
that it's simply like the soul
lodging nowhere and all about.
I would like to be your favorite pillow
where you rest your ears at night
to be your secret and the fence
around your sleep; asleep or awake
to be your door, your light when you go away,
someone who does not try to be loved.
To escape the anxiety in my complaints,
and manage at times to be what I am; nothing,
never to be afraid of losing you
through fickleness and unfaithfulness,
nor pointlessly grant to you
the tedious, vulgar faithfulness
of those abandoned who prefer
to die instead of suffer, and do not die.
translated from the Spanish by Jason Weiss
New York Review Books, 2015