(“Music and Scurvy”, Ed. 62, 2002) Translated from the Catalan into English by Anna Crowe
You have to understand that if words are so few
it’s because they are also too many.
If I say that for me your torso and chest with its thick hair
are a harp (curly strings I’ve broken with so much stroking),
that the fleshy part of your leg is like a saxophone
and I want to go on, I come to the grotesque idea
of the drummer and the flute of the member.
What poverty of language!
Because, in fact, what remains unuttered is a melody
that our bodies make, side by side:
Schubert, the shoulders, the back; Haydn if you touch
my feet, Bach if we look deep, sky and well, into each other’s eyes.
But it’s this, this terrible poverty of words
that we redeem as ours. For then we bring our bright ideas into play,
our puns: for Schubert, sherbet, for Bach
‘turn your back,’ for Wolfgang Amadeus, wolf-bites/love-bites,
for Haydn, ‘you hide.’ ‘I’ll seek.’
If words weren’t so many, or in so many different languages,
how could we leave unsaid all that cannot be said,
or how would we ever hear the music our fingers make?