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PAR T The Being I It is there, above him, beyond, behind, Distant, and near where he lies in his sleep Bound down as for warranted torture. Through his eyelids he sees it Drop offits wings or its clothes. He groans, and breaks almost from Or into another sleep. Something fills the bed he has been Able only to half-fill. He turns and buries his head. II Moving down his back, Back up his back, Is an infinite, unworldly frankness, Showing him what an entire Possession nakedness is. Something over him Is praying. It reaches down under His eyelids and gently lifts them. He expects to look straight into eyes And to see thereby through the roof. Helmets / I66 T H R E E III Darkness. The windowpane stirs. His lids close again, and the room Begins to breathe on him As through the eyeholes ofa mask. The praying ofprayer Is not in the words but the breath. It sees him and touches him All over, from everywhere. It lifts him from the mattress To be able to flow around him In the heat from a coal bed burning Far under the earth. He enters-enters with ... What? His tongue? A word? His own breath? Some part ofhis body? All. None. He lies laughing silendy In the dark ofutter delight. IV It glides, glides Lighdy over him, over his chest and legs. All breath is called suddenly back Out oflaughter and weeping at once. His face liquifies and freezes Like a mask. He goes rigid And breaks into sweat from his heart All over his body In something's hands. V He sleeps, and the windowpane Ceases to flutter. The Being / I67 Frost crawls down offit And backs into only The bottom two corners ofglass. VI He stirs, with the sun held at him Out oflate-winter dawn, and blazing Levelly into his face. He blazes back with his eyes closed, Given, also, renewed Fertility, to raise Dead plants and half-dead beasts Out oftheir thawing holes, And children up, From mortal women or angels, As true to themselves as he Is only in visited darkness For one night out ofthe year, And as he is now, seeing straight Through the roof wide wider Wide awake. Breath Breath is on my face when the cloudy sun Is on my neck. By it, the dangers ofwater are carefully Kept; kept back: This is done with yourfather again In memory) it says. Let me kneel on the boards ofthe rowboat, Father, where it sways Among the fins and shovel heads Ofsurfaced sharks Helmets / I68 ...


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