Let’s lay here until our bodies stir

for some other kind of sustenance.

Let’s lay here until the final battery in the world’s last clock

runs flat and we hear

that the whir is actually ours

as certainly, as fluidly

as moon is the sky’s

as sand is the beach’s

as sun is the morning’s

as food is the finger’s

as milk is the breast’s

as coffee is the cup’s — yes

as certainly and fluidly as that.

Let’s lay here until this joy extends 

to every corner of all the homes

where countless girls lay damp, beyond crying;

where innumerable boys rise numb, beyond cuddling;

where still a force of fullbodied life

can beckon like a grate of flames,

calling to ankles and fingers and palms, 

tracing the welts, licking their truth

warming deep, bearing witness

into rib, lung and bowel;

tilling soil — old but new, gathering berries, gazing tender 

at that bear ferocious on the ridge, all her cubs in flank;

setting free every heifer from every dairy, 

back to udder this baby bull, the one munching now, 

awash in the moon above our window;

swaying in this nightsong of frogs — 

and that bird who lifts in the black of night — calling ak ak ak ak.

Under the doona we go, 

deep in this down we stay, 

toes telling secrets, long after we’ve fallen asleep.

Let’s lay here, hear, until then

I do

— Naomi Byrnes