I like you calm, as if you were absent,

and you hear me far-off, and my voice does not touch you.
It seems that your eyelids have taken to flying:
it seems that a kiss has sealed up your mouth.

Since all these things are filled with my spirit,
you come from things, filled with my spirit.
You appear as my soul, as the butterfly’s dreaming,
and you appear as Sadness’s word.

I like you calm, as if you were distant,
you are a moaning, a butterfly’s cooing.
You hear me far-off, my voice does not reach you.
Let me be calmed, then, calmed by your silence.

Let me commune, then, commune with your silence,
clear as a light, and pure as a ring.
You are like night, calmed, constellated.
Your silence is star-like, as distant, as true.

I like you calm, as if you were absent:
distant and saddened, as if you were dead.
One word at that moment, a smile, is sufficient.
And I thrill, then, I thrill: that it cannot be so.

Pablo Neruda

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