Elegy for the Last Orgasm
after Rainer Maria Rilke
How could she not cry out when you pressed her to your flesh? How could she not hear the sorrow that sings at the core of every man’s heart? Already she must have fallen. Already she must have sensed the heat coursing beneath your skin. For every orgasm secretly wishes to be burned.
Slowly she mastered the art of holding onto the pain, letting the flames travel down to her fingertips as she blew on each tiny flicker until it grew, filling first the room, then reaching up through the rooftops, then the sky. It was only a matter of time before others saw her blaze. The world, have you noticed, offers so few visions? Maybe that’s why she became such an angel, an obsession, a never-ending dream.
But now, even you know the risks. How moments can be reduced to memory in a flash. How love turns to dust that rises like a thousand tiny planets into the glittering air. Not to mention, how to forget. And never look back. Now you simply relax, sip cinnamon tea, and survey each night as if it were a dark sail, gliding into the horizon.
You even look forward to endings as if they were blessings and your only relief. For you, Love, have mastered the art of eternal restraint. You now know: never to cling. Never to look back. For it is only the now that matters. Is it not? Such powers you have gained. You even know what can never cease. What troubles your existence. How sometimes only a lie can save you. How, if you were to glance at the sky, the meteors would fall as helplessly as rain.
Nin Andrews, from Plume