by sophie

You Who Never Arrived 

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 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
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