natalia jakubek / requiem
I have studied
and become intimate with
the speed of darkness. It’s so fast it’s
always here. When the light withdraws
the dark comes from no place. It always lives
with us. Your heart and brain are black.
They never see the true light except in violence
or autopsy. Of course the brain can cast
its own blinding light that we wait for in a poem,
at least blinding to us. In our trances the loves
of long ago enter the room unescorted, silent
perhaps from the black bottom of the ocean
where we all die in perfect darkness, a sense
of whirling that recedes back to the time
the ocean swallowed the smallest stars
then heated us into our early life.
Darkness is always there,
it only stands
If you find yourself half naked
and barefoot in the frosty grass, hearing,
again, the earth’s great, sonorous moan that says
you are the air of the now and gone, that says
all you love will turn to dust,
and will meet you there, do not
raise your fist. Do not raise
your small voice against it. And do not
take cover. Instead, curl your toes
into the grass, watch the cloud
ascending from your lips. Walk
through the garden’s dormant splendor.
Say only, thank you.
a life properly lived,
you’re a river. You touch things lightly
or deeply; you move along because life herself moves,
and you can’t stop it; you can’t figure out a banal game plan
applicable to all situations; you just have to go
with the “beingness” of life,
as Rilke would
is the greatest bliss.
It can be realized only by experience.
Even an emperor is no match
for a man with no