Sestina

William Virgil Davis

 

Tonight, there are no stars.
This huge hooded dark
is like a deep sleep
in which one longs
for even a hint of wind
to bring her out from under

what she has hidden under,
the way the invisible stars
and even the hushed wind
in this dark dark
seems to be one long
uneasy sleep.

Call it sleep,
but, under-
neath, all along,
she has envied the stars
within their dark
unruffled mantle of wind

and the way the wind
moves over them like sleep,
in the dark,
in ways they hardly under-
stand but name like stars
or trace along the long

long
insistent wind,
beneath the deeply hidden stars
that fall through her sleep
as they go under
it, into the dark.

It is all always dark
and how she longs
to be out from under
the curse of an unruly wind,
and to sleep
hidden like the hidden stars.

Under the deep dark
of her long dreams she hopes to sleep
like stars and wind. 

WILLIAM VIRGIL DAVIS’s most recent book of poetry is Dismantlements of Silence: Poems Selected and New.  He has published five other books of poetry: The Bones Poems; Landscape and Journey, awarded the New Criterion Poetry Prize and the Helen C. Smith Memorial Award for Poetry; Winter Light; The Dark Hours; and One Way to Reconstruct the Scene, awarded the Yale Series of Younger Poets Prize.


image: Henri Rousseau, The Sleeping Gypsy, 1897