White bee, you buzz in my soul, drunk with honey,
and your flight winds in slow spirals of smoke.
I am the one without hope, the word without echoes,
he who lost everything and he who had everything.
Last hawser, in you creaks my last longing.
In my barren land you are the final rose.
Ah you who are silent!
Let your deep eyes close. There the night flutters.
Ah your body, a frightened statue, naked.
You have deep eyes in which the night flails.
Cool arms of flowers and a lap of rose.
Your breasts seem like white snails.
A butterfly shadow has come to sleep on your belly.
Here is the solitude from which you are absent.
It is raining. The sea wind is hunting stray gulls.
The water walks barefoot in the wet streets.
From that tree the leaves complain as though they were sick.
White bee, even when you are gone you buzz in my soul.
You live again in time, slender and silent.
- Pablo Neruda
Translated by W. S. Merwin