"Open Invitation"  Copyright 2000 Sharon Carter

The Panther

Its view became so dulled from the passing
of the bars that it holds nothing more.
It is as if there were a thousand bars
and behind the thousand bars no world.

The soft orbit of strong supple steps,
which turns in the smallest of all suites,
is like a dance of strength around a center,
in which a colossal will sits stupefied.

Only sometimes the curtain of the pupil
delays sleep. Then a memory moves inside,
moves through the limbs' strained silence.
They hear themselves in the heart that moves on.

Rainer Maria Rilke
translation by Jorge Wolfe copyright 2000

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