Tuesday Poem

Bedtime Stories (excerpt)

—after Marc Chagall

Already we know this story
is not real, the colors
are too vague. The child
closes his eyes and imagines
the rest of his life
like a dream about falling
from a great height.
But this is early on,
before sleeplessness, before
he comes to terms with the idea
of gravity and the window
shuts completely in his dreams.
He will lose track of the story.
He will stare at the ceiling.
He will learn to count sheep.
This is a prelude to something else,
something that comes much later,
not sleep, but a kind of falling
through layers of himself,
not at all like a rose
but a sheaf of numbers
adding up to one belief,
a feeling he can count on,
thee pure mathematics of desire.

It happens slowly . . .

by Silvia Curbelo
Touching the Fire
Anchor Books 1998