Skin’s Dark Night Amy Pence

On Waking

          (After Duane Michaels’ Spirit Leaves the Body, 1968)

The body rises whole and complete
          goes to the doorless
door, passes through the houseless house.

The body hears a signal
forthcoming, wakes intrepid,
rimless, does not
cling to what it had:
                    staged canopies of sleep,
                    sweet lozenges: the eyes that once
                              beheld it

The past breaks like bread.
The body needs not.
Odor is not.
No tearing betwixt, between.

Watch the body’s heliotrope
turn towards light
the exposure—
less, less.


February 2003 2River