More Rilke Series


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,




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.




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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