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At the rising of stars
the teeth of night
are set on edge,

at the rising of the moon
the earth changes from flesh
to bone.

We turn in bed
two dozen times
each hour,

the drowsing eyelid flickers
on and off
as if it had a loose connection.

This is the hour when doctors come
solemn as doormen
to usher a life in or out,

when even
the clock's face
is swept clean,

and lying here
I have lost
the passport to sleep.

Outside a season
is starting
or ending,

snow or rain
or leaves are waiting
to fall,

but the landscape
which I have always drawn up
under my chin

has been picked
by yeras of weather.

It is not a failure
of love---you still
lie beside me,

but when I touch your wrist
I feel your pulse

How many paths I have followed
tracks and roadways leading to
this bed

if death
were the only sleep left

I would take his face
in my two hands

and drink with him
the steaming cup
of darkness.

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