It does not matter if in Rome that fall
You, leaning on the rail of the balcony,
Watched a young woman pace the yard below,
Now raised, now shouldered. Nor need you feel, see,
More in the sudden rain which, in Marseilles,
Forced you into that church than the stained glass,
Or the four white candles, or the vast stillness,
Or the way
The marble echoes rippled through the Mass.
Nostalgia is your last, your perfect, fate.
In the vague wash of circumstance, you know
That any instant can in you assume
All the weight
And feeling of the absolute. And so,
What matters, simply, is that you contain
Both past and future; that sometime, somewhere,
You will yourself become the moment – an
A profile disappearing in the air.
From Uncertainties and Rest, 1979
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