The End of Loneliness, the Beginning of Solitude

By Roy Doughty
Written November 27th, 2007

Inside the body, even as we are sleeping,
We feel an urge for a kinship, not solely of the body,
So that if we rise, alone, to look out
On the stillness of a night sky, suffused
With brightness, though neither stars nor moon
Appear there, it is easy to believe that a great
Phantom has come to supply us with a longed for
Intimacy. Everything has become not quite tangible,
As if the canopy of the night were a depth of waters,
A pool possessed by a mighty spirit, who, year after year,
Has been fed with costly silver. Were we to breathe
This spirit’s name, even in sleep, in dream,
The body would dissolve and we would pass
Through a translucent membrane, there to find
The shore of a lake below an exalted mountain.
We would walk along this shore, our feet struggling slightly
In the wet of small round pebbles, as the lake waters
Curl, fall, push and drag, creating a music, deeply
Imbued with somnolence Then we would see her,
The spirit of these waters and of this sky and night.
She will be dressed in gossamer white, gliding soundlessly,
Just inches above the strand, the epitome of love and of strangeness.
Now, if we are awake, we shall plunge into deep, round sleep,
And if we are sleeping, we shall awaken weeping,
Because we know that we’ve touched one we cannot touch again,
And that this being is to be found only in a place beyond the body,
As the body’s final, disembodied home.

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