Myth

I was asleep while you were dying.
It’s as if you slipped through some rift, a hollow
I make between my slumber and my waking,
 
the Erebus I keep you in, still trying
not to let go. You’ll be dead again tomorrow,
but in dreams you live. So I try taking
 
you back into morning. Sleep-heavy, turning,
my eyes open, I find you do not follow.
Again and again, this constant forsaking.
 
*
 
Again and again, this constant forsaking:
my eyes open, I find you do not follow.
You back into morning, sleep-heavy, turning.
 
But in dreams you live. So I try taking,
not to let go. You’ll be dead again tomorrow.
The Erebus I keep you in—still, trying—
 
I make between my slumber and my waking.
It’s as if you slipped through some rift, a hollow.
I was asleep while you were dying.

Natasha Trethewey, “Myth” from Native Guard. Copyright © 2007 by Natasha Trethewey. Reprinted by permission of Natasha Trethewey.
Source: Native Guard (Mariner Books, 2007)
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