I wake earlier than usual,
startled suddenly from dreamless sleep.
One eye opens. Wet cheek. Crook neck.
Damp sheets tangled round my feet.
Except, I do not turn and stretch, yawn,
as when I wake into full dawn –
air-blue, crystal June mornings
when the room is webbed as though
I’d slept in a milk-grey fog now rising;
I do not move, but something ebbs –
some small internal me wants to stretch
to their full height. They detach themselves,
unpeeling their skin from my inner limbs.
In the dark morning, lit with red stars
and Venus setting, they turn, they climb,
they wedge a foot in the groove of my groin
then vanish. They leave, gone, enjoined
with a cargo of my thoughts, all my lies, my lungs,
my regrets, my unadmitted wrongs; I’m left
hollow in the bed. Light strung-out with lamp-light
trickles in. Whoever they were, they’ve gone.
Whoever was here, whatever woman lay
down to sleep last night has alighted from
the train of blood, of fat and all that relates
to the plight of someone who never learned
to see what inward sign was blazing;
how our design is such that our bodies absorb
the most immaterial of things,
and as host to racing thoughts, prone
to idiocy and loss, I get up, dress, and disregard
that how I want to feel is never how I feel.
People stare in the street. Touch is obsolete,
reflection gone. I cannot feel my fingers or my feet.
No thought moves me except that this is what I need.