Saskia Hamilton: Gallery for As For Dream
The Embrace | There Is No Greater Love | November
Light reached into the room, from time to time, when the wind parted the leaves,
parting a shirt.
And all I remember is standing in a doorway,
the shadows around the doorway, an early evening darkness in the house.
There Is No Greater Love
When he woke from the dream, his face
was clean, as if light was rising from it.
He recalled two things:
the dead boy in the court, the breath yanked
out, like a bath-plug
the dead boy in the court when he came
with the ambulance, the lady who yelled fuck you
as they lifted him, cops crowding down towards them;
and the striped halls of the teaching hospital,
he was waiting and waiting for tests,
black liquid in his body
and a phrase of Ben's going in his head.
But now he was dead.
He had lifted himself away from his body so
gently, he hadn't even noticed.
There is a bright eye in me dulled by the activity of my dreaming eye.
One phrase going on for so long you don't hear anything anymore
but the breath it takes to say it.
There are many faces through which to address God.
Why would you stop? How could you speak against him?
There are many faces but you are not looking closely.
If, as you read this, he comes down the stairs on the other side of the ocean
and lights the stove-are either of you more alone, less
able to face your death, that you are not in the same room?
You need both eyes where you're going.
On the table you work at, stacks of paper,
a lamp, a scratch, a hole, and two passerby
talking outside, the fifth of
November in a city growing cold.
You did not know, you did not
know. Therefore, you changed.
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"The Embrace", "There Is No Greater Love", and "November" appear in As For Dream (St. Paul:
Graywolf Press, 2001). © 2001 by Saskia Hamilton. Reprinted with
permission from Graywolf Press.