The Christ of Lake Como

Who would believe me if I said
I embraced an angel this night in bed
Dreaming myself at Lake Como
Walking up the steep Villa Serbelloni
Seduced from behind by the holy spirit
of poverty like St. John was that night
on the dark and narrow stairway to God?
I, beggared and bearded like the apostles
Saw Christ in the beggars of Istanbul
So that I couldn't sleep in the comfort of my room
Those three nights there
And those four in Konya
And that night in Canberra when I slept
by the heater in the restroom
so that there was some room left somewhere for some poor
What did the Principessa mean
When she let out rooms to Rilke at Duino?
-- Do you know, do-you-know?
So that Rilke could return to the glorious poverty of childhood
in a Europe already rich and senile like an American widow
meaning to do good locked up in her castle?
But all walls fall before the press of the poor
Lilke the walls of Jericho
The angel of history flies ahead but looks behind
For her lessons: They are few and of the Jew
That everything has to be paid for in blood money
(Poems won't do)
Christ walks on Lake Como tonight
I wish his mien becomes mine.

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