while working on a translation of “walking around”, i imagine neruda trapped in the snowstorm outside my window :: dean rader

Dropping from the sky
Like flakes of soap,
Big heavy chunks
Like frozen leaves
Or pieces of poems.
Dropping like wings of small birds
Like thick onion skins
That freeze their own tears,
Like bits of alabaster flesh
Searching for bone,
Like sugar cubes or lily petals,
Like clumps of feathers or dandelions.
Crumbs of white bread.
The dust of clouds.

Snow falls because it cannot rise,
Cannot bend its knees,
Spread its wings.
It has no arms and cannot
Climb the thin threads
It leaves streaming from the sky.
The more it falls, the more
It remembers its absence of rising.
To descend is not to ascend.
And not to ascend is to fall.
And to fall is to lose.

Snow is tired of losing.
Snow wants to watch TV on Sunday,
Wants to hibernate in the winter,
Wants to wear glasses
And put on a tie,
Wants to learn to tell time.
Snow wants to eat Bar-B-Q ribs,
And listen to Elgar,
Wants to kiss a man or a woman,
Wants to wonder about God.

It so happens that
Snow wants to be rain:
Wants to dance on leaves when they’re green,
To be made love in,
To fall on alfalfa and corn stalks,
To make noise when it lands
Or to remain on clothes,
And slide down buildings or bodies,
To feel like the ocean.
Snow is ready for water.
Snow wants to keep flowing.
But instead it must remain snow,
Must wait for December,
And dream of Rangoon,
Must disappear inside
The brown of its shell.
It must swallow its own voice.

Snow must continue to fall on clothes
Left out on the line,
On underwear and workshirts,
And must wait for the moment to melt.
When it slides to grass the color of sky
In big heavy drops, salty as tears.

via Fire