"Morpheum": a poem by Tim Liardet

You’re at it again – you’re there at the rail
of that sleep-ballet of yours, that ghostly port de bras
or random flailing of limbs, that sitting up
(like a parody of waking, without the waking)
to mouth a one-liner of gobbledygook…
All this, it must be said, without once opening your eyes;
all this the eerie arabesque enacted blind
and choreographed by dream, the sleep-steps which
dance but do not wake you. Then, you drop on your back

(with splayed feet and mouth slightly ajar)
into deeper and deeper and deeper sleep
that nothing on earth, least of all me, could break:
I only lie awake because you lie as you do; you only lie as you do because I lie awake.

This article first appeared in the 24 September 2012 issue of the New Statesman, Lib Dem special