Six Naps in One Day

1
In the nap there are numerous doors, boudoirs, a talking hall
of sisters who gesture underwater, and bricked-up memoirs
with closets inside. There are bikes and desks in the nap,

2
corridors of glory, water, and pots of ivy hooked to ceiling
or ocean floor. Apes play with papers on the busy desk
I swim up to, through laborious sleep water. Rex the butcher

3
wears a straw hat sleeping on sawdust. When the extinguished
U-boat, flapping bat wings, settles under millennial silt,
whose eyes glean through the periscope? They are Regina’s.

4
Two squadrons of black biplanes dogfight over the trenches
of nineteen-seventeen, death’s-deads graven on engine cowlings,
helmeted pilots’ faces turned into skulls, and their bones

5
as shadowy blue as underwater feet in the shoestore x-ray
The gibbon’s cry hobbles on the wooded shore, like the cry
of this bed. He walks by the ocean’s tide a thousand years

6
in his gown of claws and hair, a deposed king searching
for sleep’s bosom and the tall queen of dunes: Regina
skulks hiding in salt grass − while the halt gibbon howls.

-Donald Hall