Monday, August 25, 2008

downed trees

A co-sleeping lullabye
First light. I take core samples of dark
as I slide into bed, your legs flashing white
in the hall light’s ambivalent illumination, flashing white
as you thunk bone on bone, flutterkicking away
from consciousness & my side of the bed.

Your joints from heaped sheets: antlers
from mid-summer grasses this afternoon at the zoo,
the breeze skittering away
every time the reindeer sighed & snuffled
bodies working despite themselves, lungs
long-running factories & your fingers
on the chain link, your attention rooted for the moment
to those flanks (& your flanks cool
as you roll to me & sleep-walk the long corridor
of my thigh through the sounding
of the mid-night train)...

After a summer in the grass, the reindeer
will see their young shipped
like parcels. I know the tap of branches
on glass, your father’s nose whistles
& your sighing swallows are dead letters
compared to the downed trees of captivity.
I know your shinbone-to-shinbone
knocks will heal overnight
no matter how many sirens are added
to the night’s cool tongues
but I can’t sleep.


Polly said...

"core samples of dark" - damn that's fine!

Ariel Gordon said...

Thanks, P.

Craig Saunders said...

Oops, did I take the title too literally?

(Seriously, though, I really enjoyed this poem.)