02 June 2008

Pattiann Rogers

[from Pattiann Rogers's Wayfare, 2008]

Portrait During the Creation of Sleep

Like the elm's shadow
disappearing at noon
into the trunk, branch,
and full leaf of its presence,
so Lila disappears in sleep,
becoming the fully bountiful
body of her body.

I say sleep is a place, the very
being of place, tangible,
alive. It is the suffocation
of the void from which breath
rises, the progenitor of sleep.

Lila closes her eyes, lays
her head on her pillow, moves
willingly, easily, as if to a lover,
toward the being of sleep.
She knows the way.

Like the power of the god
of absence, sleep transfigures
its creator.

No strumming wind, no surf,
no chitter or hum, no angelic
chorus — sleep, without sound
of itself, is the engendering
space of sound.

I say sleep is not faith
but all the atoms of faith
not yet united.

Lila lays her head
on the pillow, closes
the god of her eyes, lifts
like a shadow and disappears
into the full and boundless
forest of the sleep she sleeps.


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