This Error is the Sign of Love

For Pablo Neruda, Dead in Chile

  • It has rained every day since you died.
  • This is October in West Virginia, mountains and limestone, and the water runs over everything, the stream near the house sounds like a waterfall and there is water in my room, water runs down the wall I covered with a bedspread, water drops on my papers and books, water makes the bearskin rug smell where I shoved it under the bed.
  • I think of you when everything turns to muck.
  • I think of you when I go to town and see the puffy faces of the people without money, the idiot boy counting his fingers in the laundromat, and the rich man's house with its tree growing up through the living room roof.
  • I thought of you when the horses got out of the pasture and came to chew on the rotting porch.
  • I thought of you when I woke from a nightmare, with no one beside me in the bed.
  • You said your father was buried in the rainiest graveyard in Chile.
  • I wish the same for you.
  • I hope your casket rots and the water breaks in and soaks through the shroud and the grave clothes.
  • I hope the water eats your body.
  • I hope it comes and clears your tired reptile's eyelids,
  • and breaks down your bones and your teeth
  • and carries your hair off to float like a nest.
  • I want it to dissolve your white mouth
  • and take you along in the River Mapocho
  • with the garbage and the fruit and the beaten bodies
  • that spin slowly out to sea
  • where there is space enough and time enough at last.