June light lengthens, pulled like string
from a ball of twine, or like days
in the far north, strands of hair so thin
night doesn’t come for months at a time.
With light that long, the eyes and the soul
must grow tired, as must the grasses
and flowers that emerge all at once.
We are made for motion and rest.
To be awake for days on end and then
to sleep, to sleep: it must be like climbing
down a shaft in the earth, dark crumbling,
then collapsing, until you find the edge
of the river that runs far beneath the ground:
waters undetectable to the eye, felt more
through the sound they carry than the caress
they finger over the soft skin on the inside
of the wrist. It is this kind of sleep
none can resist: why we disrobe, slide leg-first
into its current, blackness bearing more
than our bodies, our forgetting
of what continues well above our heads.