Here, in this moment, we finish.
It’s over. Yellow lights have bloomed
at our feet. Who knows if they’re stars?
The rain falls quietly upon love and remorse.
Our kisses open wounds. Blessed rain
in the night, throbbing in the grass,
skinning the scent from the clouds,
putting cold teeth into our flesh.
Again with the sea, with the ghost of the sea,
as there were thousands of miles
between us and the waves,
as there were thousands of days
between us and the past. Stairs
leading down to God knows where.
What does it matter? “It’s time,”
I said, “to go back to your house.” It’s time.
At the door, “Hold on,” she said. Returned
wearing a different dress, hair covered with flowers.
They were gathered at the church. “Do you take this woman?”
We descended the steps. The organ was playing.
There was a violin playing. There was the sea.
It was there all along, blue and prodigious.
And she and I ruined by the sun and the dampness.
“Where oh where is that night? Just yesterday I…”
trailed off as we opened the door to the house,
to the sound of the child who was leaving,
to his shadowy brightness, to his sea with lights to navigate by,
to his cherries of fire. I put my lips
to her cheek one more time. Blessed rain.
Saw the worms as they worked through her skin.
Oh, it’s nothing love. The music on fire,
our spinning, our stillness, the grey flower
around us. Where is the night, the blue sea,
the leaves of rain. The children—
who are they? They weren’t here
a moment ago. Now they’re clapping, dying of laughter:
“You two are losing your minds!” “To bed,” I pleaded,
angry, tired.          Silence.         I kissed
her brow. Kissed her eyes, the lines around both of them
deepened. “Where is that night?!” “You were too tough
on the children.” I opened the little one’s door,
out flew the petals of rain. The boys were shaving.
The girls were already brides. Children,
why do I still call them children? They walk out the door
with their loves, blue seas, starry nights,
with their remorse and their knives
sterile for cleaning. Where oh where is that night,
where’s the sea… how ridiculous! This stopped moment,
this earworm in absolute silence,
still spinning after the music’s consumed.


José Hierro died in Madrid in 2002.

Published On
: February 14, 2012
Permanent Location:







Volume 6, Issue 3
Valentine's Day, 2012

Forget Turns Eleven

José Hierro
(Trans. Nick Thran)

For an Aesthete

José Hierro
(Trans. Nick Thran)

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by Amy Bergen

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The Latin for Hunger
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Lily and the Ways of Women
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Feb 12, 2001 - Present

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