Son­nets Made of Wood

The London Magazine - - PATRICIA MCCARTHY -

To Pablo Neruda

‘I sur­ren­der this cen­tury to you: wooden son­nets that arise only be­cause you give them life’.

Pablo Neruda to Matilde Ur­ru­tia

Carve me, then, onto the smooth grain Of your son­nets – that I might be Your Matilde. I will sing up Drift­wood from At­lantises planed For you by seas in­scribed al­ready With the tides’ chopped lines. Cup Me in the curve of each cur­sive, In the strung fo­liage alive Through the wind-played air. You will not be her be­trayer For I have my own tools to share Work on sea­soned lengths bare As flesh, my own chisel on of­fer To bevel an eter­nal af­fair.

What woman would not want to be The sap in beeches, the resin in aca­jou, Amarante, her breath turn­ing vi­o­let The heart­wood, con­jur­ing recitals From trunks’ ridges of braille. She Would wear on her fin­gers rings true As those telling the in­ner age of octets In felled co­cobolo dells. Pablo, lay out for her and for me Floor­boards to pol­ish with beeswax For the home on your lips, the melody Of copi­hue bells in your arms. Im­part Your skills with awl, spoke­shave, axe To re­store ev­ery wedge-split heart.

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