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“Dream Song 131” by John Berryman (1914 – 1972)
Come touch me baby in his waking dream
disordered Henry murmured. I’ll read you Hegel
and that will hurt your mind
I can’t remember when you were unkind
but I will clear that block, I’ll set you on fire
along with our babies
to save them up the high & ruined stairs,
my growing daughters. I am insane, I think,
they say & act so.
But then they let me out, and I must save them,
High fires will help, at this time, in my affairs.
I am insane, I know
and many of my close friends were half-sane
I see the rorschach for the dead on its way
Prop them up!
Trade us a lesson, pour me down a sink
I swear I’ll love her always, like a drink
Let pass from me this cup