The Manhattan Review
The Manhattan Review
Established 1980

Archive > Vol. 11 no. 1


D. Nurkse




Still in the sac
before I am
I hear my mother’s song—

fluent, baffled,
two clicks and a long
cascading note.

I do not know
there is an outside
or an opposing will

but I know the cost
of what seems effortless.

Newborn in sleep
I practice that catch:

you the watcher
looking into my mind
with laser and sonoscope
measure the waves
in the dreaming brain:
two brief stumbles
and a long fall.

It is the trance of desire
faint and cold
in the drizzling pines—

a pattern on a gauge
graphed on an axis—

the music that created you.