by Denise Levertov
At sixteen I believed the moonlight
could change me if it would.
I moved my head
on the pillow, even moved my bed
as the moon slowly
crossed the open lattice.
I wanted beauty, a dangerous
gleam of steel, my body thinner,
my pale face paler.
diligently, as others sunbathe.
But the moon’s unsmiling stare
kept me awake. Mornings,
I was flushed and cross.
It was on dark nights of deep sleep
that I dreamed the most, sunk in the well,
and woke rested, and if not beautiful,
filled with some other power.