Speaking the names

“Perhaps we are here in order to say: house, bridge, fountain, gate, pitcher, fruit-tree, window – at most: column, tower. …But to say them, you must understand, oh to say them more intensely than the things themselves ever dreamed of existing.”   Rilke

Such intimacy, to call any being by its name
a knowing, an understanding
I would speak the name house
as I fully lived in it grateful
for the floors that supported me knowing
where the creak in the joists answers
the call of my foot
how it bends its back to shelter me from the rain
where the dust collects in the corners
knowing how each room holds the memory
of those beings who have lived there

All of them–

the bridge that spreads out before me to carry me from one side to the other shore
waiting until all beings have crossed before it crosses over

the gate, singing on its hinges as it lets me pass
or keeps me out

the window surrendering to transparence
that it may be of use

all speak my name, whether in a whisper, a shout
or a language I cannot speak
I bow in gratitude and wonder at how they stand
present and ready in this world
whether I know or their names or not

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