Reading in discomfort, aching, bottled up, I envy Rilke’s fervor. The voice of God is closed to me, and the voices of the angels, and yet– I still have the youthful dead, calling out to me across the water, the dumb joy of animals and the blushing of trees in the twilight.

The voice of God, he says, is nestled in the ear of my neighbor. The maple leaves of his word are rising up through the bathwaters of my brother’s house. And at night the unbeveled cross around your neck hits my chest softly, tossing the street light against my lashes. It pleases me to look upon, but no, I do not want it.

I am content to let the wind blow over my teeth, and let the gutter water run through my eyes.