The man in the flat below starts to snore,
broad vibrations travel through
the floor, box springs, into my pillow,
sine waves that could snap the Golden Gate,
He's sawing off sequoias, a steady buzz,
sharpening as it cuts rings of years and hits the heart.
What if I had to lie beside a platypus like that?
Soft palate flapping like a red towel in the wind.
I try to scan the noise, it's certain I won't sleep:
shonk, shee, shonk, shee, caesura, shonk, shee, shonk, shee,
trochaic tetrameter snort,
his lines broken by fut-fut spondees.
Is his wife turned, lonely, on her side, wondering
how lush desire changed into this deep ache
to push peanuts up his nose?
This seems more like grand mal seizure than sleep.
When the REM slows, his rhythm shifts: two geese
honk and squawk--barnyard traffic jam.
She lies beside him in earmuffs watching
lamps shake in the moonlight each time bullbreath charges.
Poor moon goddess to this Endymion of glottal stops.
Will she drift to the sofa, trailing
an afghan some aunt made for other atavistic nights?
Wide awake, I drop The American Heritage Dictionary
from six feet and the rusty motor of the turboprop stalls,
adjusts its flight pattern. A light whir now,
cropduster grazing tall treetops.
Awake, could he perform these feats?
Turn in his junk bond job and become
some nasal cyberpunk synthesizing his bleats?
Right now he's composing a classic
"Sonata for Tuba Filled with Water."
My bed in the dark lists as though dragging anchor.
Close under the bow, a sperm whale wheezing
and snorking through his dorsal blowhole.
I wrap my arm around my ears, brood
on the thin membrane of civilization.
Below, Neanderthal man in skins, sated on bear blood,
rests from the hunt in a four poster bed.
Mayes home page
In the summer
Good Friday, driving home
I thought about you
The untying of a knot