with my feet in the Lethe (an aubade)

sunset on Lake Murray






















Sleep has a surface.

Like water, a skin.

It slips over mine,
into my nostrils
and behind my eyes.

It rises over me,
taking with it a dying Moon—


a devilfish swims over,
rolling me with the gravity of its blackness,
the pull of its wake.

I face a new firmament.

The lamp by my lover’s bed
and two eyes shining
fall at me
through the wine-dark night.

I land
in her soft sheets and white arms.

“I love you,” she says. “You
love me, too — it’s in your eyes.”

“That’s fear—” I say,
but her hand is a weight
on my neck.

Her kiss
falls into me:
her teeth
white and firm,
chalk         set in darkness.

My back arches
and I breach
faith with sleep.


The unborn day kicks,
its heart beats
below the horizon,

reaching rosy fingers
through our shutters,
it touches my cheek.

My lover is long my common
wife in the common view.
Society has spoken –
Heaven is silent
in the main.

She breathes softly beside me,
her eyes concealed.

Feeling the bruise
on my neck,
I turn
out of our bed.

I shower and dress
in the failing dark


Standing at the front door
without my breakfast and
with my briefcase, I kiss
her, our mouths glancing off.

“A bit early, aren’t you?” She yawns.
“You didn’t have another
bad dream…”

“No,” I say.

“That’s nice. Say hello to Father.”

“Yes, ” I say.

I wait
at the first red light
and it flares,

in the heat
rising in waves
from engines
and i’m


swimming from
a sinking ship,
smoke from her fires
drifting over,

a Siren sounding.

i keep stroking,
don’t turn once.

i see
sharks beneath
but laugh at the fear —

pushing back a vision
of white arms
and long fingers.

i kick harder for the shore
and don’t stop until
the sand presses into my lips—


the sound of horns
crests, over me.

The flow of cars
carries me
to work

and beyond

to   the   free   way.


sunset on Lake Murray


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