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Saturday, July 5, 2014

She Sleeps

After Richard Siken

You are in bed with a beautiful girl
and she sleeps through all your hallelujahs,
but you keep repeating the word.

You wonder
what you have done to deserve her,
what miracle
came from your hands?

Were you the one
that set the birds free? Were you the one
that fitted new bulbs for all the fireflies?

You must have done something
spectacular. Her mouth is a berry
she keeps letting you pluck.
She invited you here, to feast.

You’re trying not to thank her
for loving you, for existing,
for sleeping beside you.

You swallow down the words,
there is a sob in your throat,
you’re shaking now.

She moves slightly in her sleep,
her head finds the nook of your elbow
and suddenly, fire everywhere.

Suddenly, she has set you alight
and you feel your body burning itself
through the mattress, you feel
the soft melt of her beside you.

You repeat hallelujah
into her hair and the birds
celebrate their freedom.

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