If Toward Rilke
Doug Bolling
Doug Bolling Page 1
Rilke almost there in light
straining against the mist.

I held the Elegies closely
like a testament bound hard
to keep safe the secrets.
I memorized whole pages at a
time and dared tell no one.

That day I fell in the rain-slicked
street and my hand raged against
stone as the slender prize
lost itself in water.

That day I walked for hours after
as sun hove from the clouds
and made day again for the
solitaries resuming

their routines, mere
mockery of restoration.

But those songs of death and love
now muddied, warped, suddenly
signposts only of ink
washed away,
those perfect words, perfect
sounds that took soul
and granted it the dark wood
but gave no answers,
only the passage itself.

I was young then, barely in
college and woolly eyed from
lectures and math problems
and the riddling face of
the moon.