You who never arrived
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, a mirror,
was still dizzy with you and, terrified,
gave back my too-sudden image.
Who knows? perhaps the very same
bird echoed through both of us
last night, in our separate rooms.. .

Winter 1913/14