When you came home last
night and startled me from deep
sleep into wakefulness
so excruciating, I thought, It’s true:
the soul really does leave its slumbering
body, and when an awakening gives the soul
too little time to slip
into place, the sleeping die
I was lucky. My soul caught
halfway, merely rendering me
heavy and dumb and painfully half-
conscious for a while. What if I’d been
dreaming of falling when you spoke
my name? The velocity of a falling
soul exceeds the strength of its flailing
grasp at the body’s handholds.
It would have left us all
bereft—you and our young sons;
and me, having gained neither
the whole world nor my own soul.