If I Sleep While My Baby Sleep

I will hear his sleep
in and through my own, my sleep
will be bathed in his as if we slept
in one same fluid

My sleep floats within a listening
so deep that the separating
spaces of air become
as pliant and full as snowfall,
its singing silence as profound

My ears and his throat —
the sensation of anticipated
hearing close inside the ear
and the incipient murmur or cry
forming at the end of his sleep —
borne like birds and thrumming
on the air of rooms between us

My own sleep will be his
clock, safely keeping time,
his sleep tunes my dreams to listen,
our sleep binds the hour,
heavy and warm,
into a blanket of air
and sound

Alice B Fogel, "If I Sleep While My Baby Sleep" from Elemental. Copyright © 1993 by Alice B Fogel. Reprinted by permission of Alice B Fogel.
Source: Elemental (Zoland Books, 1993)
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