The Purple Stain
Day after day I inflict upon myself
the grievous penance of not seeing you, so when finally
my eyes behold you they are flooded with you essence,
as if drowning in an ocean of purple,
of music, of deep passion.
Monday passes, Tuesday, Wednesday . . . I suffer from
the eclipse of my sun, but as I mourn
the desire to see you rises up like
a prophecy, it opens like a slowly parted
veil, it grows pure, like honey, precious
like the heart of a stone,
it is honed like the key
to the cell of love in a ruined monastery.
You cannot know the exquisite bliss
I find in fleeing from you, the furtive gratification
of furtively adoring you, of paying court to you
beyond the shadow, of once a week removing
the blindfold and exposing my eyes,
for a deceptive moment,
to the purple stain of your fascination.
In the forest of love, I am a stealthy hunter.
I stalk you through dense, dormant foliage
as I would hunt a brilliant bird, and from these forays
among the thickets, I bring back to my isolation
the most brilliant of all plumage:
the purple plumage of your fascination.
SONG OF THE HEART
Ramon Lopez Velarde
translated by Margaret Sayers Peden
U Texas Press