Rigorous
Volume Four, Issue 3



Hours Before Light

Ilari Pass


for Shawn

In the lost world submerged, sleep
is the anodyne. In his absence
you cannot sleep.

You are the body alone in this bed.

The door locked, the room is
deep in the design
of night.

Your clothes confess emptiness
on this chair.

Close your eyes. There is nothing
to see on the earth.

Say to no one, Count the hours
in your head.


For the idea of sleep is infinite.

Inside lies a tongue, a cry.
Open your mouth.

Look. His body is away.

Yes, the spell of his name
makes you shiver
under the white sheet.

Ask one question
in your quiet room. Wait
for an answer.

For the hours are years,
and the years compose.

Make a zoo of what is
missing. Be a lioness
in sleep, dreaming
of Africa.



Ilari Pass: "Originally from Maplewood, New Jersey, I am a retired maintenance worker of the United States Postal Service. I hold a BA in English from Guilford College of Greensboro, NC, and an MA in English, with a concentration in literature, from Gardner-Webb University of Boiling Springs, NC.

ÔÇťOther works appear or are forthcoming in The American Journal of Poetry, Drunk Monkeys: Literature + Film, Free State Review, American Writers Review, Prometheus Dreaming, and others."




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