When you no longer love me


When you no longer love me
and there’s nothing left for us to harm
because there’s nothing left living
worthy of our trust

When you have left
                                   and I have left
and the musicians have gone
and the doors have been closed
and the locks have been bolted
and the candles extinguished
though the wicks smoulder on

When you no longer love me
When in the social round your eyes
on meeting mine no longer say
« Be patient my dear
             you know my heart
                          belongs to you »  

When you no longer love me
and I no longer fear you

When in the next phase
of your incessant search
                              you love another
and bare your feet
             beneath the shadow
                           of another’s sceptre
and I cheerfully dismiss
the loneliness and the bitterness
I myself will have forgotten
when you who once loved me
no longer love me

We will say
              something has been lost
Not much
                   It’s never much

Though something essential
               a cult
                          a language
                                       a ritual
will have been lost
        when you no longer love me

Carlos Martínez  Rivas

Translated by John Lyons


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