Slim as a nun, I lie along
the margin of a borrowed bed
whose springs are texting through my bones,
Abandon hope. Abandonment –

ecstasy of fall. I gaze
up into the godless dark
as if it might disclose some way
of getting right back, to the start

of that unselfconscious wish
for (old-fashioned diction …) joy.
And dark stares back. True, I’m pissed
again. But must the old alloy

always split along these seams –
is this, then, what incarnation means?

from Common Prayer (Carcanet , 2007), © Fiona Sampson 2007, used by permission of the author and Carcanet Press Ltd

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