O bed for only the head, for or of
a brief forgetting, how you soak up grief
like blood into a bandage. The unbelief
of down, obsidian’s opposite, white glove

for poison snakes or jewels just in case,
an air of inward travel, ghost upholding
the head of your horizontal self and molding
an evanescent mask, erases your face.

Why would God make a neck that, lying down,
needed a captured cloud below it, soft
but firm as a tongue, cradling the mind aloft
away from earth, from the grave, concave as a crown

for a king of the dead? Even Jacob’s headstone
lifted a ladder, angeled, to the moon.

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This article originally appeared in The New Criterion, Volume 41 Number 4, on page 33
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