Pablo Neruda – Sonnet XVII

 

I do not love you as if you were salt-rose, or topaz,

or the arrow of carnations the fire shoots off.

 

I love you as certain dark things are to be loved,

in secret, between the shadow and the soul.

 

I love you as the plant that never blooms,

but carries in itself the light of hidden flowers;

thanks to your love a certain solid fragrance,

risen from the earth, lives darkly in my body.

 

I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where.

 

I love you straightforwardly, without complexities or pride;

so I love you because I know no other way

but this in which there is no I or you,

so intimate that your hand upon my chest is my hand

so intimate that when you fall asleep it is my eyes that close.