What angel, if I cried out, would hear me?
And even if one of them impulsively embraced me,
I'd be crushed by its strength. For beauty
is just the beginning of a terror we can barely stand:
we admire it because it calmly refuses to crush us.
Every angel terrifies.
When are you going to learn?
Take the emptiness you hold in your arms
and scatter it into the open spaces we breathe:
maybe the birds will feel how the air is thinner,
and fly with more affection.
rainer maria rilke, from duino elegies
translated by gary miranda