In the eyes
. The brow
as if it could feel
something far off. Around the lips
, a great
freshness--seductive, though there is no smile.
Under the rows of ornamental braid
on the slim Imperial officer
. Both hands stay
folded upon it, going nowhere, calm
and now almost invisible
, as if they
were the first to grasp the distance and dissolve.
And all the rest so curtained within itself,
so cloudy, that I cannot understand
this figure as it fades into the background
Oh quickly disappearing photograph
in my more slowly disappearing hand.
--Rainer Maria Rilke