sleep

Mind Rain

she's there, between the eye and the brain,
like liquid crystal under the surface of a lens
listening to rain, thunder, strange city weather
like flames and devils in the wallpaper,
dancers in the air of the bedroom on dim mornings,
the shifting, coy disguises of the body
possessed by the ghosts of actors and the words of history
we like to take a walk to buy chocolate at night
we like to lie beside each other
raining through each other's minds

this is the outside, streams of whatever-you-call-it
flailing like octopus arms around whatever-it-is
everything bleeding, everything exploding
in and out of forms and bodies, the hot red and yellow
of it all, the deep green taste of the thawed lake,
blinding, tilted out over the trees, mirroring
their echo, their resonance to their own insane sound

this has no direction, that has no flavour, no texture
the ice cream is the same to me as the news and the sex
as I swim into the flow, as I divide into a million rivers
of attention and thought, tickling at the molecules -
they say it's an illusion that one second follows another,
one thought into the next, one dream into another day -
one by one we unreal things kneel down in the dust to pray.

Transient

sky on my skin in the morning, cold air,
the blades of a diamond, wings of glass
drenched in alien wines, hallucinogenic indigo

swimming awake into deep blue sheets
from a dream of a luminous girl dancing
in a dark sky, or a black, silent mile of ocean

now her breath warms my eyelids -
she glows, all the light in the bedroom
rises from her skin, she's been set alight

I can feel her like the empty body of the air,
on fire invisibly, ionized and irradiated,
torn by storms from the sun itself

she's alive in the mind's sea, a siren, irridescent,
opening unknown doorways - she's something
that isn't awake or asleep - dark, but radiant -

sky on her skin in the evening, tangled hair,
the waves in her mind wash over us -
breathing hard in my arms, she's going under again

Darkness Shaking

eyes closed
                      phosphor flashes
          earlobe heartbeat
pillow thunder
                      midnight quiet

prayers over
                      cool sheets
          cloudy blackness
growing deeper
                      sleeping shapes

hands vanished
                      air keening
          distant voices
faces floating
                      glowing weightless

heart racing
                      dizzy bedroom
          thoughts swarming
morning fever
                      darkness shaking

Rana

because I can't touch her
I translate her

her arms and fingers
are the feel of the wind when I walk

the tired sweetness of her voice
is a yellow rose I found in the road

her kisses are the smooth cold
of the mirror against my forehead

and, crying in bed, she's the soft sleep
embracing me in her mercy

Sycamore Sunday

She's a time machine
in the shape of a sycamore,
her leaves glowing emerald in the sun.

Twisted branches like swimming pythons:
near the ground, a deep crook
where I straddled and stayed for an hour.

Midges spiralled through shining air,
sounds of the city dulled into distance -
footsteps, voices, wind in the leaves, all silent –

my breath and heartbeat slowed
as she told me I had no need of anything,
nor any reason for fear.

While the sun flickered through her hair,
I laid my journey aside
for this moment. Our bargain,

that she gives me shelter and peace,
and I give her what I can: a life
immortal in the realm of the mind.