Sunday, July 31, 2011

You Who Never Arrived

Kirsty Mitchel

You who never arrived
in my arms, Beloved, who were lost

                                          from the start
I don't even know what songs
would please you.
I don't even know.

                                        I have given up trying

to recognize you 
in the surging wave of
the next moment
All the immense images in me - the far-off
deeply felt landscape, cities, towers, and bridges, and

                                        unsuspected turns in the path,

and those powerful lands that were once
pulsing with the life of the gods -
all rise within me to mean you,

                                        who forever elude me.

You, Beloved, who are all
the gardens I have ever gazed at,
longing. An open window
in a country house - and you almost

                                         stepped out, pensive, to meet me.

Streets that I chanced upon -You had just 

                                         walked down them and vanished.

And sometimes, in a shop, the mirrors
                   were still dizzy with your presence and, startled, gave back
                   my too-sudden image. Who knows? Perhaps
                   the same bird echoed through both of us
                   yesterday, separate, in the evening....

                   Rainer Maria Rilke, from Ahead of All Parting

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