Kris Kahn The 2River View, 5.4 (Summer 2001)

reading outloud, in oolong

we say things like
Mister why aren't you in bed yet
or better still:

you'll have to sleep
alone again
tonight. i'm going out.

sunday mornings i make tea
& retreat back to bed.
i read. right now i'm in the middle
of a post-modern dirge
from the point-of-view of a warchild cancer victim,
of course on her deathbed. experiment
al. i read it to you out loud in between
sips of oolong. without
fail you'll
fall asleep.

i am counting on my fingers:

how many times
i've fallen asleep pill-induced
& imagined you
reading me
to sleep. you'd be reading
Proust or some
thing french most likely

the words (& then
between us

the sun as it comes
over this horizon
line is dappled & greened.

the change is inevitable. the
reds spiral round
then claim
the lavender. the sun
literally does
sink ... it is night now ... effortlessly into the

night we watched the city
fifteen stories below
& rented videos & smoked way
too much hash....

i am sighing now &

there are dreams
of Proust, of Meursault. i
seem to remember you once before
on a night when i was
actually sleeping, on a night when

i Rose & put the kettle on.
the night still
crusted in your eye
corners, the stove not
familiar, your

skin still wet under my finger
nails. i called you

Jove & you answered.)

never cease to amaze me.
there are trees over
hanging your language
when you read me to sleep love, the

tendrils transcribed,
the lovers we each had
never echoed. never paralleled
those bedtime lulls. i'm sure
your sonnet now
would be appropriate—you can
sing me bored to sleep
for your literature
will not soothe me
nor will your embrace any more.

i'll hear you. i'll listen

to some song of yours from afar

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