Absence disembodies -- so does Death
Hiding individuals from the Earth
Superposition helps, as well as love --
Tenderness decreases as we prove --
Things that go 'bump' in the night
Should not really give one a fright.
It's the hole in each ear
That lets in the fear,
That, and the absence of light!
We'll pass without the parting
So to spare
Certificate of Absence --
I left Her I could find Her
If I tried --
This way, I keep from missing
Those that died.
Each Scar I'll keep for Him
Instead I'll say of Gem
In His long Absence worn
A Costlier one
But every Tear I bore
Were He to count them o'er
His own would fall so more
I'll mis sum them.
The future: time's excuse
to frighten us; too vast
a project, too large a morsel
for the heart's mouth.
Future, who won't wait for you?
Everyone is going there.
It suffices you to deepen
the absence that we are.
We miss Her, not because We see --
The Absence of an Eye --
Except its Mind accompany
As slightly as the Routes of Stars --
Ourselves -- asleep below --
We know that their superior Eyes
Include Us -- as they go --
He found my Being -- set it up --
Adjusted it to place --
Then carved his name -- upon it --
And bade it to the East
Be faithful -- in his absence --
And he would come again --
With Equipage of Amber --
That time -- to take it Home --
Long Years apart -- can make no
Breach a second cannot fill --
The absence of the Witch does not
Invalidate the spell --
The embers of a Thousand Years
Uncovered by the Hand
That fondled them when they were Fire
Will stir and understand --
In a field
I am the absence
always the case.
Wherever I am
I am what is missing.
When I walk
I part the air
the air moves in
to fill the spaces
where my body's been.
We all have reasons
to keep things whole.
I'll tell you a sore truth, little understood
It's harder to leave, than to be left:
To stay, to leave, both sting wrong.
You will always have me to blame,
Can dream we might have sailed on;
From absence's rib, a warm fiction.
To tear up old love by the roots,
To trample on past affections:
There is no music for so harsh a song.
Suddenly this defeat.
The blues gone gray
And the browns gone gray
A terrible amber.
In the cold streets
Your warm body.
In whatever room
Your warm body.
Among all the people
The people who are always
I have been easy with trees
Too familiar with mountains.
Joy has been a habit.
Rainer Maria Rilke
Perhaps it's no more than the fire's reflection
on some piece of gleaming furniture
that the child remembers so much later
like a revelation.
And if in his later life, one day
wounds him like so many others,
it's because he mistook some risk
or other for a promise.
Let's not forget the music, either,
that soon had hauled him
toward absence complicated
by an overflowing heart....
The mower stalled, twice; kneeling, I found
A hedgehog jammed up against the blades,
Killed. It had been in the long grass.
I had seen it before, and even fed it, once.
Now I had mauled its unobtrusive world
Unmendably. Burial was no help:
Next morning I got up and it did not.
The first day after a death, the new absence
Is always the same; we should be careful
Of each other, we should be kind
While there is still time.
Executioner happy to explain
How his wristwatch works
As he shadows me on the street.
I call him that because he is grim and officious
And wears black.
The clock on the church tower
Had stopped at five to eleven.
The morning newspapers had no date.
The gray building on the corner
Could've been a state pen,
And then he showed up with his watch,
Whose Gothic numerals
And the absence of hands
He wanted me to understand
Right then and there.
Words of a poem should be glass
But glass so simple-subtle its shape
Is nothing but the shape of what it holds.
A glass spun for itself is empty,
Brittle, at best Venetian trinket.
Embossed glass hides the poem of its absence.
Words should be looked through, should be windows.
The best word were invisible.
The poem is the thing the poet thinks.
If the impossible were not,
And if the glass, only the glass,
Could be removed, the poem would remain.
O dear sweet rosy
...how sad, no way
to change the mad
cultivated asphodel, the
and skin's appalling
to be so Iying in the living
room drunk naked
and dreaming, in the absence
over and over eating the low root
of the asphodel,
rolling in generation
on the flowery couch
as on a bank in Arden--
my only rose tonite's the treat
of my own nudity.
This coral's hape ecohes the hand
It hollowed. Its
Immediate absence is heavy. As pumice,
As your breast in my cupped palm.
Sea-cold, its nipple rasps like sand,
Its pores, like yours, shone with salt sweat.
Bodies in absence displace their weight,
And your smooth body, like none other,
Creates an exact absence like this stoneSet on a table with a whitening rack
Of souvenirs. It dares my hand
To claim what lovers' hands have never known:
The nature of the body of another.
I looked toward the movie, the common dream,
The he and she in close-ups, nearer than life,
And I accepted such things as they seem,
The easy poise, the absence of the knife,
The near summer happily ever after,
The understood question, the immediate strife,
Not dangerous, nor mortal, but the fadeout
Enormously kissing amid warm laughter,
As if such things were not always played out
By an ignorant arm, which crosses the dark
And lights up a thin sheet with a shadow's mark.