Issue No. 19 • Spring 2018
SLEEP’S LITTLE REHEARSAL
-Mona Van Duyn: Cento*
Without a clue I enter sleep’s little rehearsal
The soundless spin of the globe
The heavens whirl and drift and their weightless riches—
Beauty beyond belief
All the little golden bells are ringing
The soul’s door
He spoke tenderly to His elements: Beauty
By a single thought
The history of what we were
And leaves His indelible imprint
We have knelt at the unpraised heart of being, of essence
Christ, what are poems for?
He took His time
All knowledge of love, all ways of publishing it
How dazzling Love’s infinite variety!
We live a long time and God knows it is love we need
Anger, resentment, self-pity, what were they?
The white flocks of our thoughts that run back and forth?
So this comes to resemble a poem found in His notebooks
That is to say . . .
Love and art which are compassionate
And . . .His tear is the color of cinnamon on my tongue
*Each line is drawn from a different poem in Mona
Van Duyn’s collection, Selected Poems Mona Van Duyn.