Monday 8 June 2015

70 years ago, at dawn ...

Death as a Word

Robert Desnos has often tried out death as a word
                                                              – Louis Aragon
For I will sleep
With my eyes openblind
To the swirling columns of dust

My mouth will not open
To the song’s breath moan
The electric ringing
That calls across the carpet

For I will sleep
Between each heartbeat
Soft under the nails
A step louder than my step
In the soft dirt

Into my ears
Drip the murmured cries
Of animals under the myrtle leaves
Snorting their desires

The sky is bleached into sand
Behind my eyes of ash
And the creeping vines
Are dry against my tongue

I am the weight of a sleeping thought
I speak the silent words of a dream
And they catch in the twisted locks
And fences of my garden
As they whistle away
On a flight of powdered air

I fade into one lost word
The shadow of a sun long set
Burned into my closing eye
That is always open

The wires ring with bells
Behind the dark eyes of my dreams
And the mouth still open
Awaiting a word

All I remember
Catches like wool tufts
On the barbs that hold us back
And I will sleep
In a gown
Knitted from the burrs of our past

For I will sleep
While caravans cross the horizon
Of my hollow eyes
And I will see their journeys

And I will be known
By the elephant train
I will be known
By the wide arms of my open-eyed sleep
That will not end