RAINER MARIA RILKE
Is there an after-taste of life in these graves? And in the flowers’ mouths do bees find the hint of a word refusing speech? O flowers, prisoners of our instincts toward happiness, do you return to us with our dead in your veins? Flowers, how can you escape our grip? How can you not be our flowers? Does the rose really use all its petals to fly away from us? Does it want to be only a rose, nothing but a rose? No one’s sleep beneath so many eyelids?
—Translated by A. Poulin, Jr.