Sylvia Plath

Sleep In The Mojave Desert

Out here there are no hearthstones, Hot grains, simply. It is dry, dry. And the air dangerous. Noonday acts queerly On the mind's eye erecting a line Of poplars in the middle distance, the only Object beside the mad, straight road One can remember men and houses by. A cool wind should inhabit these leaves And a dew collect on them, dearer than money, In the blue hour before sunup. Yet they recede, untouchable as tomorrow, Or those glittery fictions of spilt water That glide ahead of the very thirsty. I think of the lizards airing their tongues In the crevice of an extremely small shadow And the toad guarding his heart's droplet. The desert is white as a blind man's eye, Comfortless as salt. Snake and bird Doze behind the old maskss of fury. We swelter like firedogs in the wind. The sun puts its cinder out. Where we lie The heat-cracked crickets congregate In their black armorplate and cry. The day-moon lights up like a sorry mother, And the crickets come creeping into our hair To fiddle the short night away.

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