You enter that light
which binds night and day,
that swirling mist of pain,
fortunate pain, which has no
need to be seen. It shimmers
on the ever-present, ever-
inactual shore.

Simple worker, like those
who build men’s houses—
Breathe life into the whirlwind
where the dead shall find you,
dear friends
absorbed in daylight.

Break into separate hearths
the burning bread of solitude,
leavened with tears and joy
destined for your flesh and blood—
the one who passes, he who wounds you
without knowing, he who cures you
with his indifference: your son.

Want nothing more, close your eyes
in the secret of the dew;
drown your flame-torn heart.
And when you can forget
you once were whole, then embrace
the world in silence.


Translated from the Spanish by Kathleen Weaver 

The Image archive is supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts.

Access one piece of artwork every month for free! To experience the full archive, log in or subscribe.

Related Poetry

image of a large pinkish wave or spray of water crashing over a dark green rock. the image is full of the water's spray, like a thick haze you can feel.

Hesiod on Bushfire


Les Murray

a shot high up overlooking cliffs and the waterfront down below. land is like a slanted curving line across the center of the frame. the clouds are pink and wan and streak into the sky.

At Land’s End


Alice Friman

close up image of lilies lit by sun through their petals.

The Unpronounceable Psalm


Nicholas Samaras



Sarah Klassen

Pin It on Pinterest