Friday, 23 of February of 2018

Pattiann Rogers – Before I Wake

The turning of the marsh marigold coming slowly
Into its emergent bloom underwater; the turning
Of the coral sands over themselves and over their dunes
And over the scratchings of the scarab beetles
Turning over the dung of the desert doe; the pivoting
Of the eye of the bluefish turning inside the drawing light
Of its multiple school shifting its constellation
In the dark sea; this is the prayer of sleep
In which I lay myself down to dream.

The quiet enclosed by the burrowing wolf spider
Dragging its egg to the surface to sun;
The stillness covered by the barren strawberry
Making its fleshless seed on the rocky hill
The study in the desert mushroom knotting itself
In the arid heat; the silence of the fetal sea horses
Bound in the pouch of their father; this is the dream
Of the soul in which I lay myself down to pray.

And I’ve asked the outward motion of the hollow web
Of the elm making leaf, and I’ve asked the inward motion
Of every glinting fin making the focus of the carp,
And I’ve asked the involution of the egg buds carried
In the dark inside the cowbirds circling overhead,
And I’ve asked the tight coiling and breaking
Of light traveling in the beads of the sawgrass
And the net of the sea oats splitting and binding
And splitting again over and over across the open lands
To keep me in this dream tonight through one prayer more.

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