Questions without an answer
By Pablo Corral Vega, translated from the Spanish by Margaret Sayers-Peden
Why does the base viol weep as your hands caress it with desire?
Where does the rain hide when the moon is sad?
What do butterflies do when the mist invades the night?
Do stars shine when no one sees them?
Do birds sing when there is silence in the forest?
What does the moon feel when it sees itself in the fountain?
What does the fisherman sing when the night is peopled with aloneness?
What sounds does the boat make when its belly is resting on land?
Does skin take a different name when it says farewell to the sea?
How long does the wind suffer before it dies?
How much weight does a caterpillar shed as it’s learning to fly?
How does God laugh when he’s naked?
How many breaths does love take before sleeping?
And before dying?
How does the last orange taste?
What becomes of an island that knows no poetry?
How much is a tear worth in the desert?
How many kisses did it take to create your eyes?
How many ports fit in the hands of someone who has never loved?
If I go away, will the ocean tides remember me?
If I decide to forget, will I forget my name?
Where will this poem end?
Beneath your memory?
Beneath your silence?
Hidden in your night?
Where does the ocean keep its unborn waves?
Waiting, how many heartbeats are lost?
How many heartbeats are created with each caress?
How does death cry when it loses its way?
Or when it makes love?
And what color are its tears?
How many butterflies does it take to lift a continent?
Where did the woman learn to dance who gave up stars?
What word did the poet rescue from the fire?
And what word does he forget just as he drowns?
Where does forgetfulness make its home?
How far would you travel to burst the wet bubble of my madness?
Who takes the census of our expectations?
Are there cemeteries for the blind?
For the unfeeling?
For those who die having sex?
For those who invented the qualities of the sea?
For those who blow out the stars for no reason?
Where is the guard who left me in charge of his thirst?
Where can she be, that woman waiting naked for me before the shipwreck?
What do your eyes remember when they see themselves in the moon’s reflection?