Love Opened a Mortal Wound

Here is a lovely poem thrown into the world by Poem-a-day from the Seventeenth Century Mexican nun and poet, Sur Juana Inés de la Cruz. Similar to the mystical poetry of Saint Teresa of Ávila, I think, in its high erotic religious drama. Love, Susie x

Love opened a mortal wound

Love opened a mortal wound.
In agony, I worked the blade
to make it deeper. Please,
I begged, let death come quick.
Wild, distracted, sick,
I counted, counted
all the ways love hurt me.
One life, I thought—a thousand deaths.
Blow after blow, my heart
couldn’t survive this beating.
Then—how can I explain it?
I came to my senses. I said,
Why do I suffer? What lover
ever had so much pleasure?

By Sur Juana Inés de la Cruz
Translated by Joan Larkin and Jaime Manrique