There’s a dark room you will find
her, push past fur-lined shrouds draped
over raven discs until your mind
yawns you inside its wardrobed throat.
She slumbers on your bed.
You are your own child struck blind
within your childhood room, she
lays supine, her ears knifed out by
thoughts that grind upon the words
you wish you would have said.
So do not think thoughts’ groping whine,
whispered demands for her to Come! Sit
and wait, for stillness is a sleeper’s rind
that suffocates the grown-up tongue
still breathing in your head.
When you forget her, she’ll come behind
and place her tiny hands in the sockets
of your empty eyes and sign (into being)
rushing waters of the Lethe
in languages now dead.
This poem is dedicated to Karen, who inspired me to think about what happens on the cusp of sleep and the task of surrendering our worded burdens.