Sehnsucht (Saudade)

Empty thoughts – a dry river in the night:

Of wanderers condemned to replay – and enjoy –
a game whose rules are crossed
so we can never win, but only hope,
repeatedly forgetting the result.
Mere humans and yet more:
we, the godless, and our longing.

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

Of a futile longing, for some thing unknown,
someone half-glimpsed, disguised, unrecognised.
How can this feel so much was lost?

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