BREATHING – a la Rilke

Breathing: You invisible poem!
Complete interchange of your own essence
with world-space.  You counterweight
in which I rhythmically happen.
 
Single wave-motion
whose gradual sea I am;
you, most inclusive of all our
possible seas-space grown warm.
 
How many regions in space
have already been inside me.
There are winds
that seem like my wandering son.
 
Do you recognize me, Air,
full of places I once absorbed?
You who were the smooth bark,
roundness, and leaf of my words?


You who let yourselves feel: enter the breathing
that is more than your own.
Let it brush your cheeks
as it divides and re- joins behind you.
Blessed ones, whole ones,
you where the heart begins:
You are the bow that shoots the arrows
and you are the target.
Fear not the pain. Let its weight fall back
into the earth;
for heavy are the mountains, heavy the seas.
The trees you planted in childhood have grown
too heavy. You cannot bring them along.
Give yourselves to the air, to what you cannot hold.

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