parallax background

The Sun Not Yet Swallowed

 

Douglas Anthony Cooper

Art by Joan Nelson

 
 

The Sun Not Yet Swallowed

I am chained to my bed by the usual chains

A cup of cat’s breath, the beard of a maid

A terminal moraine.

These fix my feet; my wrists are restrained

By the massed anxiety of bears

And ceaseless the shuffling sound

Of parrotfish pacing the floor

My bed is a bitter nest



My bed has been made

With the skill and saliva

Of raptors

Of eagles and hawks and owls

And lesser but no less brutal birds

With nothing better to do.

Issue of the barren I am

The pride of eggless fowl



My pillows are all of the softest granite

Hewn from Canadian shield

My sheets undiluted cotton from only

The finest cottonmouth

And each liquid thread

In this thread count of thousands

A string of yellowish venom milked by

The Swissmost of milkmaids



This is the pitiless miracle

In which I lie nerveless

The bed of the woken body

Cradle of the conscious mind

Crater of civilization and

Container of who I am

Here with me is all that I have learned

This is the prison of morning

 


Douglas Anthony Cooper

Douglas Anthony Cooper is a Canadian novelist and photographer based in Italy. His writing and photography have appeared in New York Magazine, Rolling Stone, Travel & Leisure, and the New York Times; and his travel photography was the subject of a feature in Photo District News.

Joan Nelson

Joan Nelson (b. 1958, California) lives and works in upstate New York. Her work has been exhibited widely at venues that include the Whitney Museum of American Art, NY; Guggenheim Museum, NY; Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Philadelphia; Contemporary Arts Museum, Houston; and the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, among many others. Nelson received her BFA from Washington University, St. Louis, MO.

support evergreen