Originally Published in Measure, Volume V, 2010
“It was a room-shaped room with furniture-shaped furniture and dainty curtains.”
– Ian Fleming, “Thunderball”
Our dreams, and nothing else, imagine rooms
Not shaped like rooms. We wake in bed-shaped beds,
And drag our human shapes through day-shaped days.
New shapes will never change our waking words.
Our love, be it ordinary, murderous,
Bestial, spiritual, always assumes the shape
Of love. The words define themselves for us:
Give us this day our bread-shaped bread
And forgive us our dreams that come stranger
Than fiction. Forgive us our bodies
That wither like bodies, and give us our coffins
In their coffiny-shapes. For Heaven,
We know, is devoid of rooms and furniture,
While Hell is lined with dainty curtains.