We are making a detailed inventory
like the herbarium of an unpredictable constellation.
First of all the lilies, flourish to the raining stars,
the dahlias and chrysanthemums,
and don’t leave out the poppies, those shy, tiny flowers
must also be counted.
The flower of the fig tree is subliminal.
The wallflower the most bookish of all.
The orchid is clearly a lascivious flower,
It’s a little bit like the... no, I’ll not go on.
Hibiscus fills the evening with wit and whimsy.
Hydrangea: tell me how happy I have been here.
There’s the iris, lavender, the so-called tea rose.
And then the magnolia that, as its name surely suggests
must once have been the emblem of some Mongol dominion.
The calla lily, anemones and the hardened note of the rhododendron.
And then the wonders from far off,
the unspeakable flower of the chilamate
that you feel but never see,
like the deep love that rises throbbing from your feet.
the white lily, the old blush rose and dandelions.
We have cosmos and sage and impatiens but these are
more conceptual flowers.
The passionflower is the throne of an answer,
the baldachin of deliberation.
There are flowers that hold the name of the first eye that ever saw them.
Lilacs, calendula, marigold.
I can’t forget the mimosas, the swarm of tiny warnings,
or the one I idolize the most: the bougainvillea’s outrageous clamour.
But, as i’ve said,
it’s odd, i know…
i've come this way
so many times before and...
i've never seen you
Translation by Keith Payne