Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Dark Head

Philip Levine
from 7 Years from Somewhere

Wakened suddenly by
my own voice, I know
I’ve said your name,
and you stir, your breath
as sweet as milk, and give
me first a hand to hold
and then your head to cradle.
How we came to be together
from the distant ends
of a continent, how we
gave first our hearts
and then the rest, I
can’t say. The night is
ending, the dawn I once
prayed for is cracking
along the eastern rim
of hills, and the first light
floods this filthy valley
of the Ohio River. Here
and there a house puts on
a light, and someone
wakens to a life as strong
as the smell of urine
in the broken cellars
of the houses I walk by
each day. Once more you
are sleeping in my arms,
the arms of a man
you don’t know yet trust.
I’m alone, and more,
awake to the life
that tears us apart,
content to see the day
come on flaming window
after window. Today
I shall be gone and you
will be alone again. Today
or tomorrow I shall be fire
then ashes, then a hint
of something animal
moving out of the corners
of the wind, and then at last
I shall be nothing, not
even the echo of someone’s
voice, and then I’ll be
ourselves once more,
this world, opening
in each eye and damp fist
for those who would have her.


Post a Comment

<< Home