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Antidote for Night

        So much as close my eyes

and a flayed Labrador is laid at my doorstep.

        And here’s the same bone

lodged in the slippery pottage

          of my heart

where this man croons, Baby you’re so sweet

until I take his head between my hands

                   and lay it on my breast.

    There’s the moon in the high window, her wall-eye

glancing off me, and a few bobbing stars,

every tawdry shining thing.

    I’ve identified Venus more times

than I can count as an agent for insomnia,

a broad sail that catches the wind and slides away.

    Not even halfway through the hours,

his fitful sleep, wheeze of a saber-saw,

waves receding on a rocky shore,

breath whip-snaking down a chute, until his body

forgets—how still, how close the kingdom,

one stalled-gulp away,

and I jostle his dying shoulder—he recoils, yes,

rebels, back now, mouth full of silver,

    What? he moans to darkness, what?

from Antidote for NightFind it in the library

Copyright © BOA Editions, Ltd 2015
Used with the permission of The Permissions Company, Inc.
on behalf of BOA Editions LTD.

Published in Marsha de la O Poems

This program is supported in part by a grant from the Idaho Humanities Council, a State-based program of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this (publication, website, exhibit, etc.) do not necessarily represent those of the Idaho Humanities Council or the National Endowment for the Humanities.

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