SLEEP IS A threshold I drift toward like leaves. Brown and sere as a leaf, a face drifts toward me, the eyes buzzard- amber and burning. Is it true, my dear dead dear? Is all of it true? Is any of it true? If there's anywhere to be now, you must be there. If there's anything to know now wherever you are, then you must know it. But I can dream no sure and certain answer onto the old lips, just the faintest inclination of the black-felt tricorne. The face becomes a map of the world, becomes the world itself seen from a great height.
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Half drowned in my pillow, a sleepy, shiftless prayer at the end. Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice. O Thou. Thou who didst call us this morning out of sleep and death. I come, we all of us come, down through the litter and the letters of the day. On broken legs. Sweet Christ, forgive and mend. Of thy finally unspeakable grace, grant to each in his own dark room valor and an unnatural virtue. Amen.
- Originally published in The Alphabet of Grace