by Ray Sharp
2 a.m., 2-below, bivouacked downstairs
under the south window, adrift
in the dunes with Port and Kit.
We’re bouncing in the back of the truck
from El Ga’a to Sbâ , sirocco blown grains
of snow, typhoid fever death chill gale –
only one of us will return.
Down, down the deep well of night
paralyzed by the thought that
the sky hides the night behind it,
shelters the person beneath
from the horror that lies above.
Consulting Madame La Hiff’s Gypsy Dream Dictionary
waiting for a sign in the indolent heat.
Later – has it been minutes or weeks?
– the full moon breaks through the ground blizzard
like a midday Sahara sun. I wish I were
on the terrace of the Café d’Eckmühl-Noiseux
under the awning a-flap in the soft evening breeze
reading the maps, or on the surface
of the immaculate moon aloft
in the center of the sheltering sky.