Wings of Desire

Damiel’s Lament: A Prologue
after Wim Wenders’ Wings of Desire

I know no thing –
if I lift a stone, the stone remains in place.
What I hold is an idea of stone,
an abstract of stone.

Through all of my time,
I carried this weight of not weighing,
watched every thing,

from before the arrival
of humans, rising from the valley on their two legs,
shouting to no one and every thing at once
Ah! Oh!

to now, this city and this dust
and this dirty air, this Berlin.

There he is.
The old man who walks with such strain,
such purpose, there by the wall,
the multi colored painted wall
stretching for miles through the heart
of this city, creating two countries
out of one place.

There he is.
The old man from before the old war.

Stories – he thinks these thoughts
and I, listening, hear them —
stories spill from his old pen to his white page.
He thinks and he writes
and the thinking and writing become the same
and I, listening, always listening, hear

Why am I here and not there?
How can it be that I, who am I
wasn’t before I was
and that sometime I, the one I am
no longer will be the one I am?

I hear these thoughts, all thoughts –
his, hers, all –
every one and they are not mine.

I am no thing in this body.
This body is nothing.

© Shawn Pavey. All rights reserved.

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