"Bed (No Longer a Battleground, But a Resting Place)" - Jay Morris

"Bed (No Longer a Battleground, But a Resting Place)" - Jay Morris

"They call it night. 
They call it night.
And I know it well." -- Beirut, Gulag Orkestar 

I am grinding down the bones of my hands into salt
I am spreading them around the frame of my bed
Watching them drift slowly 
With the feathers of my pillow
In the light of the pale winter moon
Invoking angels and night-whisperers
To weave protection songs around the frame of 
my bed and reinforce the lattices of my fragile hopes
To ward off the threats that pervade in the night hours
When it's so dark that even God 
(or the suggestion of God)
must strain his eye to see
Me a pillar of salt at his bronze feet

Give me a sign
That the sky 
Will not open up to swallow me whole
That tomorrow is not just a bridge
To another tomorrow that is not just 
a bridge to another tomorrow that is 
not just a bridge to another tomorrow.....

The marrow in my bones
Is rich with the anticipation
Of the ritual burn 
Of the clairvoyant candle
Darting out like a serpentine tongue
of flame to lap up some ripple of the future
With me epicentral to this extrasensory event
Shaking anxious and aware like a conscientious earthquake
Regretting its own aftershock

Give me a sign
That the Earth is not a jealous lover
Waiting to take me back under
And turn my bones into fountain fodder
So I can enjoy this affair with life
For what it is, as long as possible
With no specter perched on my shoulder
Whispering doom disguised as pessimist's truth
So that every victory feels like someone let me win

I am grinding down my bones into salt
My feather pillows into angel appeal
For a breath of fresh air
And a hope that is fragile and enduring.

(photo by Michelle Castleberry)

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