Academic journal article Michigan Quarterly Review

Still Life

Academic journal article Michigan Quarterly Review

Still Life

Article excerpt

Sleeps blue ocean sways inside the room,

ocean water sways and swells at midnight.

Nut-brown darkness has crouched below the window,

inside the room a luminous dark keeps watch over it.

Everyone is lying down, resting their heads on sleep's soft warmth;

only one has stood outside this sleep.

Time's radiant, engrossed motion gleams

from the black-framed golden dial hanging on the wall.

It's like the play of a swarm of fireflies in night's isolation:

turning his eyes that way, there's only one

who has stood alone at midnight outside this sleep.

Everyone is doing fine inside of sleep-

the one alone, all covered with dust and mud and dirt and blood,

who keeps a beggar's fuss and insults in his heart,

rummages around, his eyes fixed on the golden dial. …

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