I like it when you fall silent,
and as though you were distracted you hear me
from afar, and my voice cannot touch you. It seems
your eyes had flown, and it seems a kiss would encircle
your mouth. And as all things breathe with my soul,
you sail down with wings, filled with my very soul.
Dreamer’s butterfly, you mirror my soul,
and you look like the word Melancholy.
I like it when you are closed in and distant.
And then you complain, cooing butterfly.
And you hear me from afar, and my voice cannot touch you.
Let me lull myself with your silence.
It is clear as a torch, simple as a ring.
Let me talk to your silence.
You are like the night, a surrounding quiet in its constellations.
Your silence is from the stars, so far and so effortless.
I like it when you fall silent, as though you were distracted.
Set aside, removed, and sorrowful, as though you’d died.
A word then, a smile, is enough.
And I am happy—glad, in fact, that it’s not true.
Author: Pablo Neruda
Translator: Manny Grimaldi