Clenched Soul by Pablo Neruda

The roof almost got torn out, the trees almost uprooted. Oh, we stayed in. For a moment, I relived that typhoon two years ago, and I was back on the highway, the flood up to my ankles, my knees, my thighs. The electricity went out. It was dark all day. We were surrounded by candles, perched on tin cans we have hoarded just in case. We played board games, strummed the guitar, read a book, told stories, cooked champorado. Anything to pass the time. Anything to convince ourselves we’re safe inside. I had no idea what was going on with everyone else. I hope everyone else is okay.

I wrote this hours ago, while trying to keep myself warm. It is past midnight. We just got the power back.

Clenched Soul
Pablo Neruda

We have lost even this twilight.
No one saw us this evening hand in hand
while the blue night dropped on the world.

I have seen from my window
the fiesta of sunset in the distant mountain tops.

Sometimes a piece of sun
burned like a coin in my hand.

I remembered you with my soul clenched
in that sadness of mine that you know.

Where were you then?
Who else was there?
Saying what?
Why will the whole of love come on me suddenly
when I am sad and feel you are far away?

The book fell that always closed at twilight
and my blue sweater rolled like a hurt dog at my feet.

Always, always you recede through the evenings
toward the twilight erasing statues.

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