You lie bent up in embryo sleep
below the painting of the blue fisherman
                             without a pillow.
The checkered cover kicked and tangled on the
the old house creaking now
a car going by
the wind
a fire engine up the hill.

I've disentangled myself from you
                            moved silently,
groping in the dark for cigarettes,
and now three cigarettes later
                               still elated
                                      still afraid
I sit across the room watching you -
the light from the street lamp coming through the
hysterical patterns flash on the wall sometimes
                  when a car goes by
otherwise there is no change.
Not in the way you lie curled up.
Not in the sounds that never come from you.
Not in the discontent I feel.

You've filled completely
this first November day
with Sausalito and sign language
                            canoe and coffee
                              ice cream and your wide eyes.
And now unable to sleep
because the day is finally going home
because your sleep has locked me out
I watch you and wonder at you.

I know your face by touch when it's dark
I know the profile of your sleeping face
the sound of you sleeping.

Sometimes I think you were all sound
kicking free of covers
and adjusting shutters
moving about in the bathroom
          taking twenty minutes of our precious time.

I know the hills
         and gullys of your body
                   the curves
                             the turns.

I have total recall of you
and Stanyan Street
because I know it will be important later.

It's quiet now.
Only the clock,
moving toward rejection tomorrow
breaks the stillness.


This is one of my favorites mainly because it is a story unfolding over a span of time. As it progresses, you slowly start to put the pieces together.