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by Lea Banks

How beautiful. How beautiful 
your sleeping face.
Bright eyes shadowed shut 
with glimmering stitches. 
Oh tiny mole. Gleaming 
hair with sleeping brain 
inside dreaming. Tender
spots. Shine.
I am looking down
from high, high 
and I say there is nothing 
cruel, average, or beastly anywhere.
As I lay beside you, 
large houses grow.
Angels sleep between the bedposts.
Children peep from doorways.
Someone laughs. 
No one snickers.
Measuring your breath, 
jet trails. I'm the pilot kneeling 
at the side of your bed. 
My homage is a beacon
in the settle down darkness. 
This room is a trance. Your body 
a traveling fair, a white church.
I dare anyone to wake you. 

Lea Banks works for The Marlboro Review and is poetry editor for Equinox Magazine. She is an MFA candidate at New England College and conducts poetry workshops in her area while facilitating writing workshops for stroke survivors. She was published recently in Slipstream, Poetry Northwest and Diner. Lea survived two bouts of cancer in her early 20s and has been cancer-free for over 20 years.