After W.H. Auden
Lay your sleeping head, my love,
grapefruit-small on my sun-worn arm;
feet fall into elbow corners, paper
nails graze skin like air between two
people speaking hushed tones.
This time is thin, peeling. My arm will do
far less tomorrow when your body
outgrows my usefulness. For now,
let me be your buttress, your fort, your
bandage, your milk-and-cookie proprietor.
Tomorrow comes in waves, and the old-
new sun erases years of even this.
Minds jiggle memories like loose change,
dropping coin after coin, but in the right
frequency and rhythm we may hold true.
Your dream-filled head dives canyons,
shoots rockets and colors the wheel while I
stand mantra-calm on the shore of your waking.
Dear one, I am the only witness. Sleepless
many years, forgive me my forgetting.
Originally from Long Island, NY, Catherine Prescott is the author of the chapbook The Living Ruin (Finishing Line Press). Recent poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Pleiades, Bellevue Literary Review, Poetry East, MiPOesias, Linebreak and elsewhere. A graduate of NYU's MFA program in Creative Writing-Poetry, Catherine lives with her husband, two sons, and daughter in Miami Beach, Florida.