A Poem in the Before Choice Disturbs collection


I walk over as if guided by ghosts. Half Asleep
A diviner with a stick looking for soft water.
For now we speak, we need to, bartering
words like at a market;
our lives produce stacked in neat round moments.
"We do something dangerous when we talk." She says,
but I forgive her. This is her fourth drink.

Out of the bar and into a cab, our hands
find comfortable places, and the tension drains
Then, at her door, never thinking of going in,
I am pulled by unseen attractors.

Before I even step through her door,
before another glass of wine,
before I feel the cool sheets,
I notice a pressure.
The pressure I guessed and sensed all evening.
The pressure anticipated
falling onto her lips.

-John Keats

Asleep! O sleep a little while, white pearl!
And let me kneel, and let me pray to thee,
And let me call Heaven’s blessing on thine eyes,
And let me breathe into the happy air,
That doth enfold and touch thee all about,
Vows of my slavery, my giving up,
My sudden adoration, my great love.

A*sleep", a. & adv. [Pref. a- + sleep.]


In a state of sleep; in sleep; dormant.

Fast asleep the giant lay supine. Dryden.

By whispering winds soon lulled asleep. Milton.


In the sleep of the grave; dead.

Concerning them which are asleep . . . sorrow not, even as others which have no hope. 1 Thess. iv. 13.


Numbed, and, usually, tingling.


Leaning long upon any part maketh it numb, and, as we call it, asleep. Bacon.


© Webster 1913.

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