Where You Are by Eileen Sheehan
by Steven McCabe
You lie down in whatever bed
you lie down in, the pillow accepting
the weight of your head, the mattress
receiving your body like a longed-for guest.
You move in your sleep and the sheets
react to your turnings, the blankets adjust,
shaping themselves to your outline. The air
in the room keeps time with your breathing,
accepts being displaced while I circle the walls
of the city you dream. My papers
are worn, frayed at the edges; that picture
I have of myself, clouding-over and spotted
with rain: my face is dissolving before me. The night
holds you in sleep, you are stilled by its comforts;
by the fabrics absorbing the sweat you expel.
My cries go unheeded as I stand at the gate
pleading admittance. There is no one to turn to
as you shed a layer of your skin while you lie there,
dead to the world; my one reliable witness.
Where You Are was first published in The Watchful Heart: A New Generation of Irish Poets (Salmon Poetry)
Eileen Sheehan is from Killarney, Ireland. Her collections are Song of the Midnight Fox and Down the Sunlit Hall (Doghouse Books).