The hour is holy, says Rilke, so I try to speak into the hour, but every time I press unmute a song by Ravel I love wildly startles those in charge of the hour—my children, the sea, mountains, the light that arrives in the tree unbeckoned. Rilke speaks in his wise way that makes me sad. Maybe Ravel met Rilke while composing his Pavane for a Dead Princess, dolce ma sonoro, I think, or they passed each other in Paris and felt a rush that Rilke would later describe as mystical and Ravel as interesting, although Rilke claimed he never felt close to music, and Ravel that holiness was as helpful to him as practicing the piano (which it’s said he did not enjoy). Now the hour slows to the last two minutes, and my daughter’s fever has gone down, which makes this hour holy, a rarefied time in the midst of a plague. Peace in the house. Peace in the early afternoon. Rilke and Ravel were both born in 1875. If I love them today it is because they had so much to say to each other over one hundred years ago, although I cannot prove they ever met.
Maureen Seaton has authored twenty-one poetry collections, both solo and collaborative, most recently, Sweet World (CavanKerry Press, 2019), winner of the Florida Book Award for Poetry, and Fisher (Black Lawrence Press, 2018). Her awards include the Iowa Prize, Lambda Literary Award, Audre Lorde Award, an NEA fellowship, and the Pushcart. Her work has appeared in Best American Poetry as well as numerous anthologies and literary journals. Her memoir, Sex Talks to Girls (University of Wisconsin Press, 2008, 2018), also garnered a “Lammy”. With poet Neil de la Flor, she edited the anthology Reading Queer: Poetry in a Time of Chaos (Anhinga Press, 2018). She teaches creative writing at the University of Miami. Find her @mseaton9 & maureenseaton.com.