Center of all centers, core of cores,
almond self-enclosed, and growing sweet—
all this universe, to the furthest stars
all beyond them, is your flesh, your fruit.
Now you feel how nothing clings to you;
your vast shell reaches into endless space,
and there the rich, thick fluids rise and flow.
Illuminated in your infinite peace,
a billion stars go spinning through the night,
blazing high above your head.
But in you is the presence that
will be, when all the stars are dead.
—From "Ahead of All Parting: The Selected Poetry and Prose of Rainer Maria Rilke." Edited and Translated by Stephen Mitchell