Sleep, my Bed was his I KNOW that when I was a girl, The old woman said, I tried to elude the tyrant .Sleep Who followed me to bed So I could live the mirror life By which my heart was fed. I plaited in my fantasies The ravelled rags of day But, meeting a lover in the mist, a pit Would open at my feet, So jealous Sleep would thwart Me, pluck my joy away. And in the end he won me. I was his Yes, through to my bone, my bone. The dizzy afternoon hung like a cloud Between us, sluggish hours of evening flowed As silted rivers loop, Until we were alone. Then dams burst: my veins ran wide, they filled With him, with him I drowned. And that great canopy of sea We sank through, wrapped us round In deeps no dream could rock nor we By time or touch be found. Yet even there that wail that shocks The night would find my ear And drag me shuddering from the sand sea bed Up to the forests where A python froze with fear One of the children. Sleep, my lover, stayed Under the water there. Crooked one, I do the wooing now, Now I am old. Through the winter nights I twist Alone in these cold White sheets. I will not buy his touted love, Yet know where it is sold.
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