Even in sleep your shadow watches, me
Your whisper rustles through the sleeping room
As though you moved in silks. Why keep on trying?
Nothing can turn you full-face to the noon.
I fool myself with pains you cannot feel,
You are contorted on another wheel.
It is some illness haunts you. Thin as water
Your cry draws out my pain and breath in one—
The whole thing flickers to a halt. You fade
And I perhaps might gape to find you gone.
But only stir and know you will not sleep
Gazing obliquely through the chilly dawn.
For what? The uneasy trance will never break,
Your smiling never save you from the dark,
Nor I for knowing you be less alone.
—A. Alvarez, “The Bad Dream and the Photograph”
Art Credit Philippe Ramette