Sehnsucht ( Saudade )

Empty thoughts: a dry river in the night.
Condemned to forever replay – and enjoy –
a game whose rules are crossed
so we can never win, only hope;
endlessly forgetting the result.
More real than a clear sunrise
on a beautiful cold morning
because it touches us directly;
mere humans and yet more.
We, the godless, and our longing.

Our strange mistress, unkind,
unsentimental, alien and strange,
consumes our fat and leaves us lean,
transfiguring what’s left,
transformed in her devotion,
until at last we’re bones,
transfixed by our desires;
committed to that most elusive of ideas,
in which, in truth,
we had no choice but to believe.

A futile longing, for some thing unknown,
someone half-glimpsed, disguised,
never possessed, only borrowed, perhaps hired.
How can this feel so much was lost?
What way is there to prove this concept?

(originally published in a different version, January 2013)

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