More Rilke Series

49.

You many unassaulted cities:

Bodies, bones, broke. Strangers,

 

Alone. You, city-twists, keepers

Of loneliness. Listen—

 

Today the mountain grew

Into the belly of the Mare. I split

 

Her sides. And the Eye, O

Hermano, what have I—

 

Nothing. Still—Done. The tongue-

Want sleeps in need. In me—

 

A siege. A man. Guapa,

Break! Open Him. God,

 

Come back, I—Listen,

Love.

 

50.

I come home from the soaring—

Mountain in my mouth, still,

And bring it to You, like hay

As if a Mare inside cave or belly or

all the streets twisted in our city

So that we could pray—let us be

Inside the bullet-heart subway Let it

Snow on the ridges of our teeth. Let us

Keep the world split open. Our Eye,

Open. Nothing. O, I come home

And You tell me I’ve soared

Into your tongue. Santiago, He sings

In pine-gospel speak. Come,

Listen—crawl inside, like this love.

 

51

 

Only in your doing can we grasp you

So it snows until prayers freeze to bird-beaks.

 

Will the Mare make it to the mountain or

Do I have to keep walking toward blue

bells and bottles on tongues. My body hears

 

The way you dance—speak has become long,

 

Santiago. Pull a stone

across the ridge. I’ve become weak

From city-things, And a man.

 

Don’t forget, Guapa, Nothing leans,

circles. I know.

 

But I’ve grown into trees. I keep

A chant for my belly. Don’t

Destroy me.

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