In my sleep:
Fell at his feet wanted to eat him right up
would have but
he talked to me.
Did I ask you to?
Were those words my blood-sucking too?
Now I will have a body again
move differently, easier back to the plan
a little house a woman and a man
crossed against yours my soul will show
glow through my breastbone:
Back down into the kitchen
Here I will save you
others have failed, even died, but I
will save you you save me devour me away
I can cry but I can't wake up
today again don't answer the door
then did couldn't look at you talk
couldn't place the bed in the room, or where the room was
when I closed my eyes
This is the same old knife my knife
I know it as well as I know my own mouth
It will be lying there on the desk if
I open my eyes I will know the room very well
there will be the little thrown-out globe of blood we left
and every molecule of every object here will swell
with life. And someone will be at the door.
Jean Valentine, “The Knife” from Door in the Mountain: New and Collected Poems, 1965-2003. Copyright © 2004 by Jean Valentine. Reprinted with the permission of Wesleyan University Press.
Source: Door in the Mountain: New and Collected Poems 1965-2003
(Wesleyan University Press, 2004)