Carlos Drummond de Andrade – The Girl Reveals a Thigh

Posted: June 8, 2015 in Poetry
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The Girl Reveals a Thigh

The girl reveals a thigh,
the girl reveals an ass cheek,
only she doesn’t show me that thing
— conch shell, beryl, emerald —
which blossoms, with four petals,
and contains the most sumptuous
pleasure, that hyperboreal zone,
a mixture of honey and asphalt,
a door sealed at the hinges
with a giddiness held captive,
a sacrificial altar without
the blood of the rite, the girl
doesn’t show me that thing.
And she is torturing me, this virgin
with her modesty making me dizzy
from the sudden blow struck
by a vision of her luminous breasts,
her pink and black beauty
that winds itself into a ball,
wrinkled, intact, inaccessible,
that opens, then closes, then takes flight
and this female animal, by laughing,
dismisses what I might have asked her about,
about what should be given and even beyond
given, what should be eaten.
Oh, how the girl kills me,
turns my life into one in which
all hope is consumed
by shadow and sparkle.
Rubbing up against her leg. The fingers
discover the slow, curving,
animal-like secrets, yet
they are the greatest mystery,
always crude, nocturnal,
the three-pronged key to the urn,
this concealed craziness, it doesn’t
give me anything to go on at all.
Before it never would have provoked me.
Living didn’t have a purpose,
the feelings walked around lost,
time wasn’t set loose
nor did death come to subject me
to the light of the morningstar,
which at this hour is already the first star,
violent, rising up like nausea
in the wild beasts at the zoo.
How I might know her skin,
where it is concave and convex,
her pores, the golden skin
of her belly! But her sex
has been kept a secret of the state.
How I might know the cold, dewy
meadow of her flesh,
where a snake rouses from sleep
and traces its path
back and forth, among all the tremors!
But what perfume would there be
in an unseen cave? what enchantment
what tightness, what sweetness,
what pure, pristine line
calls me and leads me away?
It might offer me all its beauty
and I would kiss or bite
and draw blood: I would.
But her pubis refuses me.
In the burning night, in the day
her thighs come together.
Like a deserted inn
closed on the inside by a latch,
her thighs seal themselves,
seclude themselves, save themselves,
and who said that
I could make her my slave?
I could debate this possibility
without a glimmer of hope for victory,
already her body erases itself,
already its glory tarnishes,
already I am made different by that thing
which wounds me on the inside,
and now I don’t know for certain
if my thirst was more ferocious because of
that thing of hers that I might have possessed.
There are other fountains, other hungers,
other thighs of other animals: the world is
vast and the forgetting profound.
Maybe today the girl in the daylight . . .
Maybe. For certain it never will be.
And if it hides itself away
with such fugues and arabesques
and such stubborn secrecy,
on what day will it open?
What would need to change for it to offer
itself to me on an already cold night,
its pink and black blossom in the snow,
never visited by me,
that boat carrying incense that I can’t board?
Or is there no boat carrying incense at all . . .

* * *

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