I hunt for the liquid measure of your steps

Sonnet XI

I crave your mouth, your voice, your hair.
Silent and starving, I prowl through the streets.
Bread does not nourish me, dawn disrupts me, all day
I hunt for the liquid measure of your steps.

I hunger for your sleek laugh,
your hands the color of a savage harvest,
hunger for the pale stones of your fingernails,
I want to eat your skin like a whole almond.

I want to eat the sunbeam flaring in your lovely body,
the sovereign nose of your arrogant face,
I want to eat the fleeting shade of your lashes,

and I pace around hungry, sniffing the twilight,
hunting for you, for your hot heart,
like a puma in the barrens of Quitratue.

– Pablo Neruda

___

If you don’t know Pablo Neruda’s poetry, go and read some. There are many flavours of passionate wonderful in it.

Edited to add: I did an audio version of this poem by request.

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12 Comments

  1. This reminds me of a song by the band Ludo, “The Horror of Our Love,” which is kind of the main “theme song” between myself and my Dom.

    I'm a killer, cold and wrathful,
    Silent sleeper, I've been inside your bedroom,
    I've murdered half the town,
    left you love notes on their headstones.
    I'll fill the graveyards until I have you.
    Moonlight walking, I smell your softness.
    Carnivorous and lusting to track you down among the pines.
    I want you stuffed into my mouth,
    hold you down and tear you open, live inside you –
    Love, I'd never hurt you.
    But I'll grind against your bones until our marrows mix,
    I will eat you slowly…

    I wake in terror, blackbirds screaming,
    dark cathedrals spilling midnight on their altars.
    I'm your servant, my immortal,
    pale and perfect, such unholy heaving –
    The statues close their eyes, the room is changing,
    break my skin and drain me.
    Ancient language, speak through fingers.
    The awful edges where you end and I begin.
    Inside your mouth I cannot see,
    there's catastrophe in everything I'm touching
    as I sweat I crush you.
    And I hold your beating chambers until they beat no more,
    you die like angels sing…

    You're a ghost love, nightgown flowing,
    your body blue and walking along the continental shelf.
    You are a dream among the sharks,
    beautiful and terrifying, lit and restless,
    we dance in dark suspension.
    And you bury me in the ocean floor beneath you,
    where they'll never hear us scream…

    Oh, the horror of our love,
    never so much blood pulled through my veins.
    Oh, the horror of our love,
    Never so much blood…

  2. Princess Elisabeth: “This reminds me of a song by the band Ludo, “The Horror of Our Love,” which is kind of the main “theme song” between myself and my Dom.”

    *smile* I'd call it 'sweet', and it's still the right word, really. I can totally relate to the theme of hunger and wanting to devour, tear apart, eat your lover.

    I saw an American talk show a while ago where a young unknown female actor was talking about someone famous she had been working with on this movie (Anjelica Huston maybe…). She said, “She's so amazing, so beautiful, I just want to… rraawwrr… rip her face off, you know?!” So funny! And nobody got it, she half heartedly tried to explain “Don't you ever get that?! They are so gorgeous, you want to… grrrrr… rip them apart?! No? Ok, just me then…” I tried to find a clip of it after I saw it, but there wasn't one. Very funny.

    Ferns

  3. Coug: “So I'm getting you are a furry type cannibal is this your new kink?”

    I'm kind of surprised you haven't noticed this about me. Where are my exes anyway… has anyone ever actually met one since we 'split up', hmmm?

    Ferns

  4. Ferns, Neruda is one of my favorites. Writing like a perfectly ripe fruit; tasty and satisfying.

    Princess Elizabeth, thanks for sharing!! Amazing poem; kind of a cross between the darkness of Poe and the sensuality of Walt Whitman.

  5. Anonymous: “Neruda is one of my favorites. Writing like a perfectly ripe fruit; tasty and satisfying.”

    *smile* I agree, he writes very accessible, relatable poetry with lots of passion and some absolute killer lines.

    Ferns

  6. F,

    Yep. Seems there is much consensus here. Neruda for the win… or at least I've always enjoyed the palpable emotion in his poetry. Thanks for posting this.

    E.

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