Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Waking at Night by Michael Ryan

Waking at Night

I won't die in my sleep.
My sorry entrance into absence,
that featureless space, will be made
as I awake, fumbling deep for breath
as for a key suddenly misplaced.
That featureless space:
like an endless level field of ice,
where's the eyes whiten,
where invisibles fidget like gnats . . .

I suspect hell is white,
the soul wandering constantly,
calling out for company, while the wind
blows through it as if it were nothing.
And what does the body know 
now, sleeping through its nights alive?
It knows it will be left behind.

It knows it will be left behind
the way a lover knows the end is coming.
Think of those you've loved and touched
and never seen again. Sometimes I wake
at night inside this thought, and stumble
through the dark to call someone
and say, I miss you, I feel your loss.

I won't die in my sleep.

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