rootless, open and more unknown than the night

Addled adolescence, sad and sweet,
quagmire of gloom
where leaves
and bodies tumble
with words,
hard blows and acid love,
an age like space,
rootless, open
and more unknown than the night,
dragging more stars than shadow.
Time rank with unreturned
with rocks under our feet and famished eyes,
with books life's lessons are squeezed from,
that--right over there--call us to notice though we don't,
with Baudelaire perched like a raven on a shoulder
and Lautréamont howling scot-free in his coffin.
In this manner,
far from Garcilasco and his riverbanks
festooned with swan feathers
and so half-cursed, the unhinged,
breast-fed on literature,
carrying every darkness in their hands,
derelict and delirious, go
trudging step by step,
taking to the road,
searching out bread, home, and woman
as all men must.

[Pablo Neruda {1904-1973}, '13', from Then Come Back: The Lost Neruda Poems]

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