NIGHT VISION - John Donne Poems


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His wife dreams of silent flight.

On a drive on narrow roads
outside the city
she points to the red horizon,
where the sun, a hydrogen zeppelin,
skin aflame, lingers
inflated and floating along the highway,
as black silhouettes of balloons
rise with the moon
into the flushed sky.

Look, she says, twilight wears
a necklace of weightless onyx tears,
the moon a pendant, opal planet.

He replies that to him
they are round-bellied bottles,
necks down, poured out,
and hollow.
Baskets cling to their pouted lips
like drops of liquor,
drips of euphoria tinged
with fear, last sips
of liquid altitude, from where
one looks upon this vastness
and sees the flat horizon's curve.

Must you see pots in everything?
Her sigh, the hush of fire.

But he has lied.
What he really sees tonight
are question marks
in their distant outlines, doubled
and considering their own reflections,
a darkness inside them empty
as the negative goblet
of space between two facing profiles.
They are wondering
how we travel so far
on warm wordless breaths,
and asking themselves
who they are.