Matthew Olzmann: Sleep on a Bed of Nails

The trick is: more nails.
Enough of them, and with your weight
distributed evenly among a thousand or so,
any given nail, individually, cannot generate
enough pressure to inflict its judgment.
A thousand tiny injuries, grievances and betrayals
make up a lifetime where you are still here,
able to recline across it all, dreaming, if you wish,
of a vessel without damage, an unharmed body,
a forest perhaps, dreaming
of light streaming through the branches
of an elm or blue spruce,
or, if you’d prefer, dreaming
of hands lifting you, so careful
as you lie across them, so gentle, afraid
of what might be broken, and their touch, so light,
they might actually be the light
through the trees you dreamed of earlier. You are
as weightless as this light that falls over you, falls
over your bed of nails,
which is beneath your body, and
is your body, and is far from your body.

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