Sonnet XVII (Pablo Neruda, 100 Love Sonnets, 1960)
I don’t love you as if you were the salt-rose, topaz
or arrow of carnations that propagate fire:
I love you as certain dark things are loved,
secretly, between the shadow and the soul.
I love you as the plant that doesn’t bloom and carries
hidden within itself the light of those flowers,
and thanks to your love, darkly in my body
lives the dense fragrance that rises from the earth.
I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where,
I love you simply, without problems or pride:
I love you in this way because I don’t know any other way of loving
but this, in which there is no I or you,
so intimate that your hand upon my chest is my hand,
so intimate that when I fall asleep it is your eyes that close.
The author may have been different, but just the same as it were last April 10, 2008, I re-dedicate this poem to you. I love you and that is all I know. “I love you in this way because I don’t know any other way of loving, but this, in which there is no I or you…”