when i have seen you i have waked and slipped from the calendars


By W. S. Merwin

Comet of stillness princess of what is over

high note held without trembling without voice without sound

aura of complete darkness keeper of the kept secrets

of the destroyed stories the escaped dreams the sentences

never caught in words warden of where the river went

touch of its surface sibyl of the extinguished

window onto the hidden place and the other time

at the foot of the wall by the road patient without waiting

in the full moonlight of autumn at the hour when I was born

you no longer go out like a flame at the sight of me

you are still warmer than the moonlight gleaming on you

even now you are unharmed even now perfect

as you have always been now when your light paws are running

on the breathless night on the bridge with one end I remember you

when I have heard you the soles of my feet have made answer

when I have seen you I have waked and slipped from the calendars

from the creeds of difference and the contradictions

that were my life and all the crumbling fabrications

as long as it lasted until something that we were

had ended when you are no longer anything

let me catch sight of you again going over the wall

and before the garden is extinct and the woods are figures

guttering on a screen let my words find their own

places in the silence after the animals

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