Anticipation of Love


Neither the intimacy of your look, your brow fair as a feast day,
nor the favor of your body, still mysterious, reserved, and childlike,
nor what comes to me of your life, settling in words or silence,
will be so mysterious a gift
as the sight of your sleep, enfolded
in the vigil of my arms.
Virgin again, miraculously, by the absolving power of sleep,
quiet and luminous like some happy thing recovered by memory,
you will give me that shore of your life that you yourself do now own.
Cast up into silence
I shall discern that ultimate beach of your being
and see you for the first time, perhaps,
as God must see you–
the fiction of Time destroyed,
free from love, from me.


                                    Spanish; trans. Robert Fitzgerald


Jorge Luis Borges, Spanish, trans. Robert Fitzgerald , Selected Poems, ed. Alexander Coleman, Viking Penguin, 1999.