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A Sleepless Night

Written by: Philip Levine | Biography
 April, and the last of the plum blossoms 
scatters on the black grass 
before dawn. The sycamore, the lime, 
the struck pine inhale 
the first pale hints of sky. 
 An iron day, 
I think, yet it will come 
dazzling, the light 
rise from the belly of leaves and pour 
burning from the cups 
of poppies. 
 The mockingbird squawks 
from his perch, fidgets, 
and settles back. The snail, awake 
for good, trembles from his shell 
and sets sail for China. My hand dances 
in the memory of a million vanished stars. 

A man has every place to lay his head.



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