Sunday, October 20, 2013

The Splendor of Nothing

—Photo by Robert Lee Haycock, Antioch
[Click once to enlarge photo] 

—Julia de Burgos

Since life is nothing in your philosophy,
let's drink to the fact of not being our bodies.

Let's drink to the nothing of your sensual lips,
which are sensual zeros in your blue kisses:
like all blue a chimerical lie
of white oceans and white firmaments.

Let's drink to the touchable decoy bird
sinking and rising in your carnal desire:
like all flesh, lightning, spark,
in the truth, unending lie of the universe.

Let's drink to nothing, the perfect nothing
of your soul, that races its lie on a wild colt:
like all nothing, perfect nothing, it's not even
seen for a second in sudden dazzle.

Let's drink to us, to them, to no one;
to our always nothing of our never bodies;
to everyone at least; to everyone so much nothing,
to bodiless shadows of the living who are dead.

We come from not being and march toward not being:
nothing between two nothings, zero between two zeros,
and since between two nothings nothing can be,
let's drink to the splendor of not being our bodies.

(trans. from the Spanish by Aliki and Willis Barnstone)