Thoughts While Playing Online Chess

With NR, committed to campus Benjamin Franklin, Charité Hospital, Berlin Steglitz.

Charité – Campus Benjamin Franklin

Beauty first of all. 
Then every angel. 
But other things 
are also terrifying.
 
Mind comes to mind.
What yours is saying
is that your heart
has stopped beating.
 
 
Nor does it occur
to you to wonder 
how this thought
is even possible—
 
terror has already
rung the ambulance.
The ambulance that
knows your address.
The ears of angels?
Are not capacious.
Are easily deafened
by various celestial
 musics: a hurricane
blows around one’s
sinuses, another is
shrieking its inane
 
 hosannas across the
stratospheric ether,
while a third hears
only abstract ideas.
 Our cries must fall
instead on human
ears, as Rilke’s did,
preserved, if at all,
for such posterity as
our medical records
command. Is this any
consolation? Hardly.
 But then our demand
was hardly moderate.
Our terror is a signal
that we are not yet
 
 prepared to concede
to time, although we
still don’t know what
to do with ourselves
 until we must. Time.
It has to be passed.
Somewhere . . . I’m
at the public library,
you’re at the clinic,
and between these
elective prison cells
invisible messages
 are now travelling
screen to screen.
You castle, Queen’s
side. I do so as well,
 
 foreseeing the move
to follow. But this, I
know, isn’t possible
in life, only in small
 models of life, made
by mind itself to flee
its other fictions—
terror, angels, time.