Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Nightly Wrap on the Pillow Edge

Still night, dark, rumbles at intervals -
the very guts of the house,
its pit swooshing if she stays up
thinking of falling asleep but all those clearings
that open up won't let it while her pillows
turn into sandbags.

So instead she concentrates, as an exercise,
on that plump white duck shiny enough to
have a ballet named after it,
but not too perfect - its rubbery work honest.
The swan she saw the other day, sure he
made eyes at her from the water.
A mutual attraction. For it was not in
vain on the duck's part as she went beaming
thoughts, 'come here beautiful,' wondering if it
would come and linger, and, well, it did.
She is sure she willed it so.

And speaking of guts, her own feel like shoelaces
tied by a five-year-old mid tantrum
so there's no sleep for her just yet, no lull in
recalling birds either, let alone counting them
but she's not that deluded to think it would even work -
it never did before.

So thinks of Gypsies instead, that is its
icons - horses, fire, owls, Sara Kali accompanied by
Mary Magdalene and Salome en route to a port in France,
making a bargain for a miracle and promising to cover her
head thereafter - she can't recall the fine print, then doesn't;
instead there's that word marime, impure in the spiritual sense
used to refer to gadjos, non-gypsies.

In Ireland, they call them travellers,
innocuously - and fittingly enough. She likes that.

Whoa, what's that, another rumble she hears.
Does it really make the same racket in the daytime?
Hard to believe, you'd think the house is a nocturnal animal,
and a finicky, congested one at that. One car, two,
another one racing past outside. Then something close
to silence. It takes its marginal positioning.

Like a rat, but she worries that in making the analogy
it could get offended and protest, which then just might
scare her. She wouldn't want that.
Roused enough as it is, she says to herself -
quietly so that only she can hear.

In any case, she is pondering trying to sleep now,
asking herself how long it will be till she does.
Aw, but there's that kid again, sadistic little twerp,
tying her laces, tugging her sides. Ouch.

She has tried to sedate him with no luck so far.
So she swerves to something else -
the great plunge into nothingness.
It seems important.

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