How Much I Loved This Life

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I lay in the dark afraid of the dark, Once, in Alabama, in 1954, The year before electricity, And prayed and could not pray

One lamp for all the world And, listening, heard the L&N Screech at Lacon, and then The unmuted spirit breathing of the house.

I lay in the dark afraid of the dark And thought of the word eternity And of the hydrogen bomb. Sometimes now in sleep I ululate.

When Katy shakes me, asking why, I mean to keep things light. I say, “That is the noise I always make When I am being devoured.”