Poem of the Week: Maureen N. McLane

Girls in Bed

You are in bed
and Antigone’s dead

once again though offstage
and alive on the previous page

doomed proud girl
elective fatalist

& the Dark Doñas
and perved-out girls

are facing off
at the Met

vs. Balthus

and you know who
wins. A sleeping

woman is an erotic
thing in many a painting

and Albertine sleeps
away it seems

a million days
as Proust swerves

ever unto a swerving
desire. But/And

you are sleeping
and no one’s painting

or writing or looking
You’re sleeping by the cat

in another room
and Sinatra croons a tune

“as charming as hell even yet”
on NPR. Where we are

isn’t fixed by any GPS
or pinpointed location

can’t be mapped by street name
city state or nation

O the drift as between
America and Europe

as between girls
in bed and girls dead

The vast Atlantic
suddenly reveals

itself a thin
watery thing covering

a continental shelf
An Atlantaean upsurge

cracks the abyssal plain
proves what looks sundered

is so deep under linked

“Girls in Bed” from SOME SAY by Maureen N. McLane. Copyright © 2017 by Maureen N. McLane. Used by permission of Farrar, Straus and Giroux.
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