Six Variations on Love
by Víctor Terán
comes along like an onerous bundle
that cannot be carried for long
without ending in cursing.
comes along like a candle flame
or like the sun that shines in the sky:
we watch it falter, later flare up
we watch its birth, to return another day.
is wild honey that seeps from a tree,
sap of tender maize-cob generous at dawn,
sap that runs
through the intimate garden of a woman.
The flower of the fig tree is love.
The iguana trickster or hand of a goddess,
it announces its presence to the heart
but we never see it.
goes and comes like the night.
When it goes it flees with a slice of the soul.
When it comes it ransacks
what's left of the heart.
blooms without losing sleep
it doesn't understand worries
The literal translation of this poem was made by David Shook
This translation was first published in World Literature Today
© Poetry Translation Centre 2004-2015