Lives far dearer than our own
Sleeping With Women
It’s the waking up that changes with each one.
Before you realize there is more than one bed story
to tell, aftersleep already has its way with you.
There is a we to account for and it takes time to arrive
there laden as you are with dream residue and the
thousand melancholies you wake to alone dispelled
because there is another who may well be waking
beside you, or is already sending the scent of French
roast percolating down hallways at altitudes that cause
you to sleep in longer for having fought oxygen
the night long, your sea-level sensibilities always slow
to acclimatize in her ravenous red bed. There are the
mornings when men rise risen to their purpose before
the mind has keened and a woman’s mouth has taken
there to pull you through triumphs you’ve no earthly
business proclaiming, but in yielding do so nevertheless.
There were cabin windows hoared with breathglaze
teeming on glass that sainted the early light passing
through to rouse diffused hosannas in the conifers
that led in time to tables and breakfasts whose sating
was certain to relieve you of ever requiring another.
But there is always another hunger, each day seemingly
born to it. I’ve been cast up into such constellary
atmospheres that I was sure I would hold my place
forever among the gleaming ancients only to find
myself in fallen reflection dawning on the watertop.
Remember her limbs lengthening in low amplitudes
as snow-horned dragons stirred and settled reasons
for washing one’s hands of dispossessed messiahs,
pale and purring as she did so, golden fire spilling
down the perfect architecture of her Sybilance as
she told you, without speaking, of things to come,
charting full the course of what failed futures were
found within the shallow steerage of a false destiny?
I have slept with women I could not sleep with, this
is true. They, too, have slept with me. We were one
and alone encumbered by all those we brought with
us into our becoming and subsequently dispersed in
our unbecoming. This is the way of lying beside, of
lying alone together, of holding on for lives far dearer
than merely our own. Were it otherwise, I might have
wished it so. To sleep with a woman is to sleep with
all you may become and all you may yet never be;
to sleep with a woman is all there is of whatever might
yet pass for truth in this round and dreaming world.
November 23, 2008