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Circulation

by
 And all at length are gathered in.
--LOUISE BOGAN By the time I came around to feeling pain and woke up, moonlight flooded the room.
My arm lay paralyzed, propped up like an old anchor under your back.
You were in a dream, you said later, where you'd arrived early for the dance.
But after a moment's anxiety you were okay because it was really a sidewalk sale, and the shoes you were wearing, or not wearing, were fine for that.
* "Help me," I said.
And tried to hoist my arm.
But it just lay there, aching, unable to rise on its own.
Even after you said, "What is it? What's wrong?" it stayed put -- deaf, unmoved by any expression of fear or amazement.
We shouted at it, and grew afraid when it didn't answer.
"It's gone to sleep," I said, and hearing those words knew how absurd this was.
But I couldn't laugh.
Somehow, between the two of us, we managed to raise it.
This can't be my arm is what I kept thinking as we thumped it, squeezed it, and prodded it back to life.
Shook it until that stinging went away.
We said a few words to each other.
I don't remember what.
Whatever reassuring things people who love each other say to each other given the hour and such odd circumstance.
I do remember you remarked how it was light enough in the room that you could see circles under my eyes.
You said I needed more regular sleep, and I agreed.
Each of us went to the bathroom, and climbed back into bed on our respective sides.
Pulled the covers up.
"Good night," you said, for the second time that night.
And fell asleep.
Maybe into that same dream, or else another.
* I lay until daybreak, holding both arms fast across my chest.
Working my fingers now and then.
While my thoughts kept circling around and around, but always going back where they'd started from.
That one inescapable fact: even while we undertake this trip, there's another, far more bizarre, we still have to make.

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