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In an Article on Sleep Research, I Read that Body Temperature Drops in the Middle of the Night
By Jackie Bartley

Half-way through the night,
around three or four AM,
the body cools like

a spoonful of soup
raised to the lips of a dream.
We sink like Jonah

into the whale's mouth
where the light is cracked and dim,
enter as if drugged

landscapes built like the great
medieval cathedrals, through
several lifetimes,

architects, guildsmen,
none of them alive when spires
and steeples at last spanned the

space between earth and
sky. And then dreaming begins.
Some remember and

some do not, but in
those places--the grocery store,
the cemetery,

the attic of a
sprawling mansion, the crawlspace
in a cramped basement--

our saints and shadows
shake off the damp of their birth
and speak for us or

tell us their secrets.
And so, vision comes when we
are a few degrees

closer to death, when
reason breaks like an egg dropped
early from the nest.

Cool, fragile country
we visit, our passport, this
small token of heat,

where all are native
and all are exiled from birth.

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Document last modified on: 02/17/2003

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