Then out of the darkness leapt a bare hand that stroked my brow, "Come along, child; stretch out your feet under the blanket. Darkness will give you back, unremembering. Do not be afraid." So I put down my book and pushed like a finger through sheer silk, the autobiographical part of me, the am, snatched up to a different place, where I was no longer my body but something more— the compulsive, disorderly parts of me in a state of equalization, everything sliding off: war, love, suicide, poverty—as the rebellious, mortal, I, I, I lay, like a beetle irrigating a rose, my red thoughts in a red shade all I was.
Reprinted from Blackbird and Wolf © 2007 by Henri Cole, by permission of Farrar, Straus and Giroux. Learn more about FSG poets at fsgpoetry.com.