No, better the Queen not recognize
your face, it's sweeter
this way, my love, far from the effigies, the weight
of your hair in my hands. Do you remember
the Mangareva tree whose flowers fell
in your hair? These fingers are not like
the white petals: look at them they are like roots,
they are like stone shoots over which the lizard
slides. Don't be afraid, we will wait for the rain to fall, naked,
the rain, the same as falls over Manu Tara.
But just as water inures its strokes on the stone,
it falls on us, washing us softly
towards obscurity down below the hole
of Ranu Raraku. And so
don't let the fishermen or the wine-pitcher see you.
Bury your twin-burning breast on my mouth,
and let your head of hair be a small night for me,
a darkness of wet perfume enveloping me.
At night I dream that you and I are two plants
that grew together, roots entwined,
and that you know the earth and the rain like my mouth,
since we are made of earth and rain. Sometimes
I think that with death we will seep below,
in the depths at the feet of he effigy, looking over
the ocean which brought us here to build and make love.
My hands were not ferrous when they met you, the waters
of another sea went through them as through a net; now
water and stones sustain seeds and secrets.
Sleeping and naked, love me: on the shore
you are like the island: your love confused, your love
astonished, hidden in the cavity of dreams,
is like the movement of the sea around us.
And when I too begin falling asleep
in your love, naked,
leave my hand between your breasts so it can throb
along with your nipples wet with rain.
(Trans. Anthony Kerrigan)