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.
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