You Want Me White     by Alfonsina Storni
 

                                    You’d like me to be white as dawn,
                                    You’d like me to be made of foam,
                                    You wish I were mother of pearl,
                                    A lily
                                    Chaste above all others.
                                    A delicate perfume.
                                    A closed bud. 

                Not one ray of the moon
                Should have filtered me,
                Not one daisy
                Should have called me sister.
                You want me to be snowy,
                You want me to be white,
                You want me to be like dawn.

                You who have held all the wineglasses
                In your hand,
                Your lips stained purple
                With fruit and honey
                You who in the banquet
                crowned with young vines
                Made toasts with your flesh to Bacchus.
                You who in the gardens
                Black with Deceit
                Dressed in red
                Ran to your Ruin.

                You who keep your skeleton
                Well preserved, intact,
                I don’t know yet
                Through what miracles
                You want to make me white
                (God forgive you),
                You want to make me chaste
                (God forgive you),
                You want to make me like dawn!
 
                Run away to the woods;
                Go to the mountain;
                Wash your mouth;
                Get to know the wet earth
                With your hands;
                Feed your body
                With bitter roots;
                Drink from the rocks;
                Sleep on the white frost;
                Renew your tissue
                With the salt of rocks and water;
                Talk to the birds
                And get up at dawn.
                And when your flesh
                Has returned to you,
                And when you have put
                Your soul back into it,
                Your soul which was left entangled
                In all the bedrooms,
                Then, my good man,
                Ask me to be white,
                Ask me to be snowy,
                Ask me to be chaste.