We may never know the mystery of sleep.
We don’t want to become machines.
But we let our vagabond thoughts run riot,
not like hurricane but like breakfast table,
spread with honey and cereal. And then: falling
over the dog, kicking the ribs out
of the heirloom chair. Somewhere
between the end of the table and half-past
nine, the stock-market crashes. We watch and can’t
believe we are watching. And then: hot flannels
to the face, brocade of poppy-heads. Forget,
forget—bag of ground pepper dipped in whiskey
and placed in the ear.
We never want to hear what people are saying. We never
know exactly what is needed. Blister Compound, Opium Powder,
Lint. Baths or Fomentations; Forcepts or Pins.
If you swallow a bee, if your throat is stung inside—
you are not necessarily closer to the mystery, your own dying.
Tonight I will place a key over your bee-sting
and force the poison out. You are very lucky. I don’t
even know you, but still you owe me nothing.