Going Back to Bed
by J.D. McClatchy
Up early, trying to muffle the sounds of small tasks, grinding, pouring, riffling through yesterday's attacks
or market slump, then changing my mind—what matter the rush to the waiting room or the ring of some later dubious excuse?—
having decided to return to bed and finding you curled in the sheet, a dream fluttering your eyelids, still unfallen, still asleep,
I thought of the old pilgrim when, among the fixed stars in paradise, he sees Adam suddenly, the first man, there
in a flame that hides his body, and when it moves to speak, what is inside seems not free, not happy, but huge and weak,
like an animal in a sack. Who had captured him? What did he want to say? I lay down beside you again,
not knowing if I'd stay, not knowing where I'd been.
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Excerpt from MERCURY DRESSING. Copyright © 2009 by J. D. McClatchy. Excerpted by permission of Alfred A. Knopf, a division of Random House, Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.