Treasure Island

Robert Desnos

(1900 - 1945 / Paris)

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If You Only Knew


Far from me and like the stars, the sea and all the trappings of poetic myth,
Far from me but here all the same without your knowing,
Far from me and even more silent because I imagine you endlessly.
Far from me, my lovely mirage and eternal dream, you cannot know.
If you only knew.
Far from me and even farther yet from being unaware of me and still unaware.
Far from me because you undoubtedly do not love me or, what amounts to the
same thing, that I doubt you do.
Far from me because you consciously ignore my passionate desires.
Far from me because you are cruel.
If you only knew.
Far from me, joyful as a flower dancing in the river at the tip of its aquatic stem,
sad as seven p.m. in a mushroom bed.
Far from me yet silent in my presence and still joyful like a stork-shaped hour
falling from on high.
Far from me at the moment when the stills are singing, at the moment when the
silent and loud sea curls up on its white pillows.
If you only knew.
Far from me, o my ever-present torment, far from me in the magnificent noise of
oyster shells crushed by a night owl passing a restaurant at first light.
If you only knew.
Far from me, willed, physical mirage.
Far from me there's an island that turns aside when ships pass.
Far from me a calm herd of cattle takes the wrong path, pulls up stubbornly at the
edge of a steep cliff, far from me, cruel woman.
Far from me, a shooting star falls into the poet's nightly bottle.
He corks it right away and from then on watches the star enclosed in the glass, the
constellations born on its walls, far from me, you are so far from me.
If you only knew.
Far from me a house has just been built.
A bricklayer in white coveralls at the top of the scaffolding sings a very sad little
song and, suddenly, in the tray full of mortar, the future of the house appears:
lovers' kisses and double suicides nakedness in the bedrooms strange beautiful
women
and their midnight dreams, voluptuous secrets caught in the act by the parquet
floors.
Far from me, If you only knew.
If you only knew how I love you and, though you do not love me, how happy I
am, how strong and proud I am, with your image in my mind,
to leave the universe.
How happy I am to die for it.
If you only knew how the world has yielded to me.
And you, beautiful unyielding woman, how you too are my prisoner.
O you, far-from-me, who I yield to.
If you only knew.

Submitted: Friday, January 03, 2003

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