Births (Los Nacimientos)

Births (Los Nacimientos)

We will never remember dying.

We are so patient
about being,
noting down
the numbers, the days,
the years and the months,
the hair, the mouths we kissed,
but that moment of dying:
we surrender it without a note,
we give it to others as remembrance
or we give it simply to water,
to water, to air, to time.
Nor do we keep
the memory of our birth,
though being born was important and fresh:
and now you don’t even remember one detail,
you haven’t kept even a sliver
of the first light.

It’s well known that we are born.

 It’s well known that in the room

or in the woods
or in the hut in the fishermen’s district
or in the crackiling cane fields
there is a very unusual silence,
a moment as solemn as wood,
and a woman gets ready to give birth.

It’s well known that we were born.

But of the profound jolt
from not being to existing, to having hands,
to seeing, to having eyes,
to eating and crying and overflowing
and loving and loving and suffering and suffering,
of that transition or shudder
of the electric essence that takes on
one more body like a living cup,
and of that disinhabited woman,
the mother who is left there with her blood
and her torn fullness
and her end and beginning, and the disorder
that troubles the pulse, the floor, the blankets,
until everything gathers and adds
one more knot to the thread of life:
nothing, there is nothing left in your memory
of the fierce sea that lifted a wave
and knocked down a dark apple from the tree.

The only thing you remember is your life.

– Pablo Neruda 

 

 

 

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