Summer 1990 • Vol. XII No. 3 PoetryJuly 1, 1990 |

The Nap

Tragic and intimate,   these lit moments     passing as we pass . . . I wake in late afternoon,   your face floating above me,      huge, planetary, gazing deeply into my   own unguarded eyes. Why      do these moments terrify? Agents of cloud, we sleep   under eaves, under eiderdown,      and wake to an unfamiliar surround, an attic room slept in once,   many times, as dusk is falling.      A lamp is burning, framing your face in time's   aureole, as if the restless moon      were passing over the sun. Intolerable, preferred, this solitude   we bear in which our lives,      briefly converging, must swerve, change course, or else   must merge into an entity      that is and is not us: twin bodies held perpetually   in unbounded space where      no night, no day will interfere with their blind circling.   We are caught in

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Elizabeth Spires’s books include The Wave Maker, Now the Green Blade Rises, and Worldling. She lives in Baltimore and teaches at Goucher College. In 2011–12 she was a Cullman Fellow at the New York Public Library.

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