When you drop everything you are carrying
it seems to happen all at once,
a sudden slide to a disastrous fall,
broken things and mess
In reality it’s been sliding all along
& you just missed all the signs
You hold onto everything you own
your heart, your dreams
Not knowing that you
are like the dog in the meme
You drink your coffee, as you do every morning
while everything burns
This is fine, you say
This is fine
Not seeing the flames as it all burns around you
This is fine
All those men were there inside,
when she came in totally naked.
They had been drinking: they began to spit.
Newly come from the river, she knew nothing.
She was a mermaid who had lost her way.
The insults flowed down her gleaming flesh.
Obscenities drowned her golden breasts.
Not knowing tears, she did not weep tears.
Not knowing clothes, she did not have clothes.
They blackened her with burnt corks and cigarette stubs,
and rolled around laughing on the tavern floor.
She did not speak because she had no speech.
Her eyes were the colour of distant love,
her twin arms were made of white topaz.
Her lips moved, silent, in a coral light,
and suddenly she went out by that door.
Entering the river she was cleaned,
shining like a white stone in the rain,
and without looking back she swam again
swam towards emptiness, swam towards death.
I’ve always loved Pablo Neruda’s poetry. He was one of my favourite poets when I was a teen. The video below does a very nice job of illustrating the poem.