© Steve King
All rights reserved
She closed her eyes to find a dream again.
Tears stung like the sea she a-drowning.
She would recall the window,
and the looking far to darkness,
and to distant stars.
Her eyes felt so small,
surely she was at fault, too,
for seeing nothingness that side of stars;
sure that emptiness
was part of her, too…
She disappeared as clouds closed on the night,
body nothingness in grip of shadow,
mind a lens for somnolent senses,
and for sharp aches that gather to the soul.
She could yet stir to wonder:
‘Is this how dreams are lost?’
Empty window and the dampened stars—
There would be that clinging memory
when waves of heartache
came to wash her soul,
over time smoothing sharp breaks
to a plainer anguish.
Empty window and the dampened stars:
irrelevant blind view
she tried so to ignore
yet strained to see.
Another moment and it all sank in.
Much as she thought the wash of dread
must lave across the leaving dreams
of the condemned that one last morning,
sudden waking to brightness and the brimming bladder
and normalcy and all else except for...
All so sudden
all like a madness
all at once like that fear.
She blushed in her pain to think of the condemned:
There could be no otherness for them,
no beckoning twilight future
to suit a need as time might yet allow,
no delicate and balming rationales,
‘til rationales surrendered to the end of expectation;
‘til memory itself was finally gone.
Not at all like death or what she imagined.
How was one to know?
For what had death to show?
The heart might cease, yet still not fail to beat.
Not like death, seeming a dream at the far other end.
Only love, and best to lose it young;
that would not stay nor even bear the course:
better than at age in the grip of dread,
as old love, ancient and familiar,
drowned in a stew of cataracts and catarrhs.
Mausoleums at morningtide.
All desire and dream,
she sang through darkness
heard the song, not the singing
knew she must be dreaming
or else be a dream,
even as she felt him move,
felt him hard in her dreaming world,
even as he stayed leaving,
hearing her song in the singing dark,
not then even knowing his musing lark.