Been sick the past few days. I want a brownie. Also I am trying not to write you a letter.

For Hans Carossa
Rainer Maria Rilke
Translated by Stephen Mitchell

Losing too is still ours; and even forgetting
still has a shape in the kingdom of transformation.
When something’s let go of, it circles; and though we are
rarely the center
of the circle, it draws around us its unbroken, marvelous
curve.

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My sister S. is a very proud, hard woman. I imagine her heart weighs heavy, crafted solid, a big rock. I imagine it has a lot of tiny rough edges that can cut and make you bleed. When she speaks, you have to be strong enough to take it. I’ve known her all my life, and yet I still can’t prepare myself when she lashes out. She isn’t a wounded animal, no, not at all. But I weep for her sometimes. Whenever I see her asleep, I want to put my ear on her chest, knock softly, whisper, Are you there?

What birds plunge through is not the intimate space
Rainer Maria Rilke
Translated by Stephen Mitchell

What birds plunge through is not the intimate space
in which you see all forms intensified.
(Out in the Open, you would be denied
your self, would disappear into that vastness.)

Space reaches from us and construes the world:
to know a tree, in its true element,
throw inner space around it, from that pure
abundance in you. Surround it with restraint.
It has no limits. Not till it is held
in your renouncing is it truly there.

Someday I will live in a place where there’s fall. For tonight, Rilke.

Autumn Day
Rainer Maria Rilke
Translated by Galway Kinnell and Hannah Liebmann

Lord: it is time. The summer was immense.
Lay your shadow on the sundials
and let loose the wind in the fields.

Bid the last fruits to be full;
give them another two more southerly days,
press them to ripeness, and chase
the last sweetness into the heavy wine.

Whoever has no house now will not build one anymore.
Whoever is alone now will remain so for a long time,
will stay up, read, write long letters,
and wander the avenues, up and down,
restlessly, while the leaves are blowing.