Rilke – Lament

One Hundred and Ninety Four


How far from us everything is,
and long gone.
I think the star whose light
reaches me now
has been dead for thousands of years.

I think I heard
in the boat that went by
something anxious being said.

In a house, a clock
has struck the hour…
In which house?
I would like to go out from my heart
and stand under the great sky.
I would like to pray.
One of all those stars
must surely still live.

I think I used to know
which star may have kept on shining—
which one, like a white city,
rises still at the far end of its light.

Man what a time to be alive! What a weekend!
Fall is getting ready to yield the podium to winter and death is sharpening it’s knife. Broke umbrellas in every street corner and ravens are carrying the last massage. The wind is no longer the gentle breeze that brings the lavender smell of your hair to me, and instead it cuts my face and howls. Blood is dripping from read leaves of trees and ginkgoes are wrapping up their last performance for the years. Empty branches are fingers reaching to the empty sky for the last drops of warm sun before they give up on liquid gold and switch to white powder. Streets are filled with either locked hands, broken hearts, searching eyes, and heads buried in the scarves and jacket collars. I had my first public reading yesterday – you were there, and Bukowski was throwing up in the bathroom. I thought about you and your eyes, I always do.

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