some notes on a predawn spectacle after reading Rilke with coffee

I cannot trust serene.
Serene is for the eyes —
languid, reclined, more divan
than divine.

Here it is, hammered, steady
as heartbreak in a season
of insufficient rain, the waterfall.

They hold out large pieces, chewed
and soggy, a will burdened by a drop
of longing, and that — all this you had.
That life existed, our life so deeply wrenched
that it is tragically stripped. The ragged edge,
which no one ought to place in a room is safe:
a piece of coal lying in front.

They hold out large pieces, wanderers,
chewed and soggy, lay on the eyes serene,
as if this chaised tumult were mine alone,
more divan than divine. Such a ragged edge,
our milky way, more smoke to blind the wary.

What are these, these Mars, Venus, Moon,
chewed and soggy. What are these
to the long hammer of a waterfall
in a morning of insufficient rain, steady as heartbreak
and short as grain. I cannot trust this serenity,
O heavens, I cannot vector

that Waterfall,
in a season of insufficient rain
beneath a heaven so languid, so ragged
that even this piece, held out to you
cannot contain the coal of night,
ember-red in serene, esteemed
above all else, above the chewed
and soggy riverbank, above the dam
that sings only heartbreak and short
grain in the taunts of a longheld drought.

Image: Brett Ritchie on Unsplash

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