The World's Body
AE Reiff

The spiritual did not come first,
but the natural, and after that the spiritual.

I lay in bed
trying to get my breath,
slept a long hour or two before dawn,
gradually I became aware my body had risen
slightly from its sleeping form. This felt good so
I didn't move, went in and out of sleep several times.
I could hear differently then, wheezing groans, coughs
and forced breaths and sounds like long sonorous moans.
I was either asleep in this raised state hearing my own flesh
cry out in pain, or awake hearing the world's sound,
loud early in night which had since calmed down.
It was like a train or a moan the world cried out,
a patient deep in pain this resonant thing
with a mellow groan and travail.
I heard it snoring
in some detail.
I conclude from
this a spiritual world exists,
that its spiritual body lacks sense
and that something is terribly wrong
if it makes these sounds like an old folks
home. Back in flesh I didn't hear it again.