I Write as You Sleep
Anemone Beaulier

I Write as You Sleep

At your first cry—more beast than baby—words flee
the tangle of my mind like birds heeding a warning:
the shriek of something ravenous stirring.

They fly on inky wings,
flicks and arcs, dots and strokes of black
rising with their notes into the sky’s gap.

The bramble of my brain’s left barren—
no song, no plumes—for nothing
ever exactly repeats,

even when caught in the thorns
of memory: not the cast of light
on an iridescent head, nor the turn

of a thrush’s song at its end.
In the fugitive silence, I am still, waiting,
leaves empty ahead of your shrill rising.

Anemone Beaulier

has contributed to Cimarron Review, Prairie Schooner, Poet Lore, Salamander, The Southern Review, and other journals. She grew up near Marquette, in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, and now lives in Fargo, North Dakota, with her husband and three children.