Published on Academy of American Poets (https://poets.org)


The Painted Bed

"Even when I danced erect
by the Nile’s garden
I constructed Necropolis.

Ten million fellaheen cells
of my body floated stones
to establish a white museum."

Grisly, foul, and terrific
is the speech of bones,
thighs and arms slackened

into desiccated sacs of flesh
hanging from an armature
where muscle was, and fat.

"I lie on the painted bed
diminishing, concentrated
on the journey I undertake

to repose without pain
in the palace of darkness,
my body beside your body."

Credit


From White Apples and the Taste of Stone. Copyright © 2006 by Donald Hall. Reprinted by permission of Houghton Mifflin Company.

Author


Donald Hall

The author of many collections of poetry, criticism, and children's literature, Donald Hall served as Poet Laureate of New Hampshire from 1984 to 1989. In the June 2006, Hall was appointed the Library of Congress's fourteenth Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry.

Date Published: 2006-01-01

Source URL: https://poets.org/poem/painted-bed