May 18, 2016

Allen C. Fischer

IN BED WITH ANOTHER MAN’S IDEA

Tall camels of the spirit
steer for their deserts …
—Richard Wilbur

I steer for my bed
wherein, odd as camels,
dream after dream cruises by,
the ungainly whores of sleep
crossing my mind as though
emptiness were a promised land.
And there in the night’s desert
of duned blankets, sheets and
pillow, where all begins blank,
I am prone, subject to the intangible
seduction of another man’s idea:

that naked, the truth cuts loose
from the weight and smell of flesh
and claptrap of every day tenderloin.
That to come truly, the spirit slips
from its formal verse and negligee to reveal
a light-fantastic, skin so luminous,
a body so pure that when I wake,
mouth dry, bound in covers, breathing heavily,
there is no one, nothing, not even
a faint curve of rump or small camel
disappearing into my dresser.

from Rattle #17, Summer 2002