In back alleys and side streets and along the tracks at night alone
or with one other, trudging. On their backs, black garbage bags
stuffed with filthy towels, a mechanical canary, a small wooden
model of a Bavarian castle, biscuit tins, the harp of a lamp …
The lumberyard psychic pulls out her sofa bed that kills her back
and puts away her tea cup and manuscript of astral charts.
At the end of this night, you will find the place to lie down
and be still at last, hosts coming alive like trees in a fairy tale
to help unpack your belongings and there will be warm food,
a baby asleep in a deep, soft ball, and there will be scratchy music.
The childlike sun is melting you, strong on your arms,
rose mouth, and cheeks. The stones of the vertebrae
are growing smooth and you want nothing more added
to your pockets, bookshelves, damp cellar with its one
scary light bulb. How grateful you are for your warm bed.
All who are seated are pulling away in neat, silent rows.
A great wave is carrying them into a far distant corner,
but wait, look, they are floating out the window, saved,
one by one. Under the swarm, the black ribbon of sky,
you hear the night thief in his grinning cat mask
slip through the line of trees and break into the dark
houses, just to hear the sleepers breathing.
Something warm is being placed in your hand, a fragment
of indecipherable writing, the mystical power of letters
being liberated from their barns.
That is the Great Pyrenees you’ve always loved, bounding away
before you can command your frozen hand to rise.
Those are twirling, laughing children you hear.
She leans her head against yours, bare tree
to bare tree, and is consoled.
Sleep floating, lovely, and when limbs touch nothing,
you will lose the earth.
Hundreds of thousands of horses
are running toward you. They are breaking down the door.