Or, if I sleep,
I must choose between two dreams.
In one of them, my hands move calmly
Over a woman’s waist, or lift
In speech the way birds rise or settle
Over a marsh, over nesting places.
In the other dream.
There are no nesting places.
The birds are white, and scavenging.
They lift negligently over the town in wind,
They dip and rise
As if there had never been a heaven.
—Larry Levis, from “The Future of Hands” in The Dollmaker’s Ghost (Carnegie-Mellon University Press, reprinted 1992)