One Hundred Love Sonnets: XVII

Pablo Neruda, originally in Spanish

I do not love you as if you were salt-rose, or topaz, or the arrow of carnations the fire shoots off.

I love you as certain dark things are to be loved,
in secret,
between the shadow and the soul.

I love you as the plant that never blooms but carries in itself the light of hidden flowers; thanks to your love a certain solid fragrance, risen from the earth, lives darkly in my body.

I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where.
I love you straightforwardly, without complexities or pride
so I love you because I know no other way

than this:

Where I does not exist, neither you.

So close that your hand on my chest is my hand

So close that your eyes close as I fall asleep

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