On Rilke’s Birthday

In honor of your birthday, you brilliant, beautiful man.

We must not portray you in kings’ robes, you drifting mist that brought for the morning,

or take again from old paintboxes the same gold for scepter and crown that have disguised you through the ages.

Piously, we produce our images of you, till they stand before you like a thousand walls.

When our hearts would simply open, our fervent hands hide you.

“God’s True Cloak” <as I remember it>, Book of Hours.

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