When Things Close In

It feels as though I make my own way
through massive rock
like a vein of ore
alone, encased.

I am so deep inside it
I can’t see the path or any distance:
everything is close
and everything closing in on me
has turned to stone.

Since I still don’t know enough about pain,
this terrible darkness makes me small.
If it’s you, though —

press down hard on me, break in
that I may know the weight of your hand
and you, the fullness of my cry.

— Rilke, The Book of Hours III, 1

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