A Swooning Couch

Diane Ackerman

A swooning couch arrived today:
deep purple velour with golden braid:

just the spot for a wistful courtesan
to lay her grand horizontal hips
and sigh: “Time could not erase
the luster of his lips:”

perfect for viewing the sunset
as night’s fabrics cascade, wrapping
daystrings tighter and tighter:

a soft embankment where a naturalist lies
overcome by earthgrief—
sorrow for the sufferings
of nature and the failing planet:

a couch Freud would have loved
for its trance-like hue—indigo-black
like a starlit sea, where frothy white surf
appears as thought: or a mantelpiece
holding human antiquities:

a subsidy for the amplest mood,
where I may recline next time I phone,
cushioned full length, bolstered by beauty,
in a waking swoon, and impenitent.