I see you, rose, half-open book
filled with so many pages
of that detailed happiness
we will never read. Magus-book,
opened by the wind and read
with our eyes closed …
butterflies fly out of you, stunned
for having had the same idea.
Friend of hours when no one remains,
when all’s refused to the bitter heart;
comforter whose presence attests
to such caresses floating in the air.
If we refuse to live, if we renounce
what was and what may happen still,
we never think enough of this tenacious friend
who’s next to us, at work on miracles.
Let’s not speak of you. Ineffable.
That is your nature.
Other flowers decorate the table
We put you in a simple vase —
everything is mutable;
perhaps it’s the same phrase,
but now sung by an angel.
Rainer Maria Rilke
trans. A. Poulin, Jr.
St. Peter’s Chapel, Mare Island
(photo by Jane Beal)