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 Rilkeou who never arrived