Now the woman in red approaches.
Beneath this sky world, she says,
is another. Everything is absorbed there.
The touch of your hand on another’s body
is doubly there — as your touch,
and as the pressure on her skin.
Again as the subtle glow and shift
within your brains.
You are being made there.
What you see now, this image of me
is redly there. When you looked into the mirror
minutes ago, seeing your gaunt cheek-line,
all of that too. The swing of your arm
through air, your speech; the crispness of a grape,
your tasting of her mouth; all the million
nerve-ends of loving have a copy there
in this carillon of the senses.
The scattered tracery of your thought
is also there.
Every surface, every object
that receives you draws you down
into your other: the bed, the floor beneath the bed,
the mirror. The utensils you eat with,
the steering wheel, even your desires
weigh exactly and take you into your other:
your earth-station, a flattish dish
white with data.
At times you have almost met
this other, a sudden face in crowds
unaccountably shocks you. The instant as your
car turns side-on out of control.
When depression stalks you.
Remember. It is you exactly
but has one difference.
It is laid out in the skin, still as a corpse,
responsive to all you do —
it knows brilliantly
as you know in the dull
only one of you can live.
Relentless moments fizzing into the past
annihilate whichever one must lie there,
perfect and ill.
You must resist it for ever.