new zealand electronic poetry centre


Mary Stanley

online works

Put off Constricting Day

Husband, put down Spinoza, Pericles,
the seventeenth century, even the new
nemesis striding after doll or moll.
Private eye or dick, they’ll crack the case
as wide as any yawn I’ll give, waiting
for bed and casual goodnight.
                                            And now
put off constricting day, let sleep release
the obedient body from necessities
of action and response imposed by wills
other, alien, indifferent or hating.

Am I another such, not wife, nearer
than these, more culpable of harm and pain?
Look now, before you sleep, am I not still
the one you sought on winter-walking streets,
adding your breath, lonely, to fog and rain?
Then the incendiary blood burned up to spill
Its brilliant meteors, crystals of fire
ardent to strike, in doubly shared assault,
from the expectant flesh an answering heat.


© Mary Stanley

Last updated 26 November, 2002