Wish

What wish is left

when appetites have their deceit—

by foods that flattered taste, but fed not,

swollen insufficiencies

swallowed as names of better things?

What wish is left, and what contenting?

There is left the wish and its contenting.

There has vanished, with that tiring,

the succession of things mutable,

by which the wish grows lasting

and the things not sooner tasted still to taste.

And must these be proved?

Ticketed with legends that they are so?

Let the wish speak

and claim the loathe contenting

which turned from fickleness.

You shall leave those places,

each a camp raised in a shifting wilderness;

and no camp stayed its wilderness,

but wandered with it, into failing distance.

You shall reach this place.

You shall prophesy: ‘I have arrived here

and will discover to myself what is here.’

But not because of you,

that you shall have better, know better,

than you had, than you knew.

Is truth that delight, that truth,

that lengthened age

past death’s abrupt meridian—

the temporal habit put away

like drudging error?

b2b115