I woke in alien dark to a babble
of plumbing through the walls
and an AC’s rushed but whispered
intimacies with the night.

Even my own breath’s shallow ebb
and flow seemed oceanic
in that room circling around
some invisible and shaky axis.

I was lost, but through the keyhole’s
tiny Moorish arch, which opened
onto the empty corridor’s furnace of light,
came a trickle from the near beyond,

and I could trace an illumined stream
which hovered in the sudden now
angelic air, and see once more, though dimly,
our knotted sheets, their cankered glow.

Richard Foerster is the author of five collections of poems and the former editor of Chelsea and Chautauqua Literary Journal. His honors include NEA and Maine Arts Commission fellowships, the Amy Lowell Poetry Traveling Scholarship, and the “Discovery”/The Nation Award, among others. His poems have appeared widely in magazines and anthologies since 1975, including The Best American Poetry, Poetry, TriQuarterly, The Southern Review, and Kenyon Review, along with many more.

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