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Six Naps in One Day

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,

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

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.

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

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

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