I hang upsidedown from the roof of your skull
sleeping—my wings crossed over me
like Pharaoh's arms, locking in a wisdom
millennial sands have leached and buried.
We are here by the thousands.
Light tilted upwards stirs
us in a dark hoodoo: ripples of crepe,
eyes like red sequins,
fangs that glitter heliophobic.
One detaches, drops,
in wild loops describes the light,
shrieking a high staccato,
reading your shape off the wall.
Turning out the light, you feel
the air stir as he swoops
close, and crawl out, anxious
for the sun's sharp definitions,
the sky's bowl of consciousness.
Meanwhile, the effigy of a bishop
with his cope about his shoulders
in rigid half-sleep, I wait
for the night, when like an afterthought
I follow where you toss in the sheets,
in the quick inaudible voice
of sonar, zero in on your dream.
Eyes twitching, you feel a peculiar
weightlessness. Your hands grow thin
and long, the moonlight showing through
as you hold them over the world
in a kind of benediction. Gliding,
you hear each small lament,
the mole's grief, the mouse's fear,
the trembling mouth of the grub.
You circle that chalky face
the white zero, the bullseye—
and, at last, caught in its ring
plunge, head rimmed with fire
all night until the stars
fall, too faint to be heard,
until with a short swoop and silent
cry you return to the cave
and fold upsidedown with the others
to share in a sleepy murmur
secrets you hide from the day
like dark cells clustered in a brain.