by Rainer Maria Rilke
Listen, love, I lift my hands—
listen: there's a rustling . . .
What gesture of those all alone
might not be eavesdropped on by many things?
Listen, love, I close my eyes,
and even that makes sounds to reach you.
Listen, love, I open them . . .
. . . but why are you not here?
The imprint of my smallest motion
remains visible in the silken silence;
indestructibly the least excitement
is stamped into the distance's taut curtain.
On my breathing the stars
rise and set.
At my lips fragrances come to drink,
and I recognize the wrists
of distant angels.
Only her of whom I think: You
I cannot see.
— from The Book of Images, translated by Edward Snow