Snow Bed

(after Celan)

Eyes, ice globes
in the grave’s cleft:
so I happen to be,
callous bud in my heart,
so I happen to be.

Moon-reflecting mirror.
Whorled precipice. Descend.
(Brilliant lichens of breath.
Bloodlines streaking.
The soul at its core
in bore-clouds almost
fussing itself whole again.
The ten fingered shadow. Fisted.)

Eyes, ice globes
in the grave’s cleft.
Eyes. Eyes.

And the snow bed
under us both, the snow bed…
Crystal after crystal
across each other grated
through cavernous time.
We fall. We fall
And lie here and fall.

And fall.
We were. We are.
We are one flesh
with the night
in the passageways,

Daniel Tobin is the author of five books of poems, most recently Second Things (2008) and Belated Heavens (Four Way Books 20100, as well as numerous critical works. His awards include fellowships in poetry from the National Endowment for the Arts and the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation. He is currently Chair of the Department of Writing, Literature and Publishing at Emerson College in Boston.

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