Poem of Night
by Galway Kinnell
- I move my hand over
- Slopes, falls, lumps of sight,
- Lashes barely able to be touched,
- Lips that give way so easily
- It's a shock to feel under them
- The hard smile of bones.
- Muffled by a little, barely cloaked,
- Zygoma, maxillary, turbinate.
- I put my hand
- On the side of your face,
- You lean your head a little
- Into my hand--and so,
- I know you're a dormouse
- Taken in winter sleep,
- A lonely, stunned weight.
- A cheekbone,
- A curved piece of brow,
- A pale eyelid
- Float in the dark,
- And now I make out
- An eye, dark,
- Wormed with far-off, unaccountable lights.
- Hardly touching, I hold
- What I can only think of
- As some deepest of memories in my arms,
- Not mine, but as if the life in me
- Were slowly remembering what it is.
- You lie here now in your physicalness,
- This beautiful degree of reality.
- And now the day, raft that breaks up, comes on.
- I think of a few bones
- Floating on a river at night,
- The starlight blowing in place on the water,
- The river leaning like a wave toward the emptiness.