blackbird online journal spring 2002 vol.1 no. 1




“. . . in sleep, the soul goes out of the body and if a piece of paper is put over the face of the sleeper, he will surely die, for his soul cannot find its way back into him again.”
                                                                             James Frazer

On this side of outside
I can't hear the weather at all.
Wind mouthing nothing,

leaves unraveling out of sight—
like watching a movie
with the sound turned down.

My mind ticking loud.
The page a room,
night washed blue.

I'm pressing the palms of words
against what my next door neighbor
waves every morning,

what even my grandmother could read,
what my daughter watches
on educational t.v.

In my fist a grocery list of my life,
the same dull staples,
palimpsest of memory.

Blankness falls over me.
It falls from nowhere onto skin, hair.
It melts on my tongue

and when I open my eyes
I'm lying in a field of silence
watching how sleep

seems to rise off my body.
On the other side of white,
an alphabet of lightning,

dialect of lips on skin,
fingertips telegraphing images,
sound beginning to shed its colors. 

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