Love Sonnet XII
Full woman, fleshly apple, hot moon,
thick smell of seaweed, crushed mud and light,
what obscure brilliance opens between your columns?
What ancient night does a man touch with his senses?
Loving is a journey with water and with stars,
with smothered air and abrupt storms of flour:
loving is a clash of lightning-bolts
and two bodies defeated by a single drop of honey.
Kiss by kiss I move across your small infinity,
your borders, your rivers, your tiny villages,
and the genital fire transformed into delight
runs through the narrow pathways of the blood
until it plunges down, like a dark carnation,
until it is and is no more than a flash in the night.
Pablo Neruda translated by Stephen Mitchell