Shirley Alexander (12-05-1953 / Somewhere under heaven, Georgia, USA)
He said I sleep like an unborn child, naked,
with knees drawn to belly, hands clasped
palm to palm, and held tightly together
by thighs clasped tightly together, by instinct.
He said he lifts the sheet from my skin,
turns the lamp to a shadow maker,
and watches my dreams rise and fall
from his worn chair, best used for reading.
I said I am clasped, not an open book.
He said he has read me, front to back,
and he asked my permission to write
the final chapter, just before I left.
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