Sleeping, turning in turn like planets
rotating in their midnight meadow:
a touch is enough to let us know
we're not alone in the universe, even in sleep:
the dream - ghosts of two worlds
walking their ghost-towns, almost address each other.
I've walked to your muttered words
spoken light - or dark - years away,
as if my own voice had spoken.
But we have different voices, even in sleep,
and our bodies, so alike, are yet so different
and the past echoing through our bloodstreams
is freighted with different language, different meanings -
through in any chronicle of the world we share
it could be written with new meaning
we were two lovers of one gender,
we were two women of one generation.
Okay, I'll give it a try :-)
Rich and her lover sleep next to each other, unwittingly brushing against each other as they subcounsciously turn in their sleep. Using her simile, "turning in turn like planets/ rotating in their midnight meadow", she establishes the scene by dispelling any immediate suppositions that their twisting and turning is due to anxiety - the planets revolve peacefully about their axes (to achieve a balance of sunlight), just as nature intended. As they occasionally graze against each other, they reconnect through a deeper realm of consciousness, and each can emotionally register the other's presence, "even in sleep".
Rich and her lover subliminally venture through their respective "ghost-towns", exploring the abandoned, vacated dwellings briefly occupied by casual, ephemeral thoughts - the psychological waste that fashions their dreams, as it were. On making physical contact with one another, their subconscious minds discern the presence of the other and the personae of their dreams can "almost address each other." Their individual psyches are no longer the only force capable of shaping their dreams; the "muttered words" (sleep-talk) of Rich's lover have guided Rich's second self through her nightly explorations, despite the subliminal distance between them, described by Rich as "light - or dark - years." She modifies her astronomical metaphor to exchange 'light year' with a more suitable term, given that the distance spanned by her lover's voice is through complete darkness - from the depths of one mind to another.
She notes that her lover's distant voice commands as great a presence in her subconscious as her own internal one does.
Rich now acknowledges that although they sometimes progress to one voice and one body in sleep, there are, physically, two individuals. She goes on to admit that their past experiences have also moulded them into two complex, fundamentally-different souls - souls that, hence, can never entirely comprehend anything more than the other's essence.
Rich remarks that, in their shared subconsciousness (ie. their dreams), where what happens is independently shaped by their common voice, the chronicle of their dreams could be read in their own personal form of communication - a language, of sorts, through which both can clearly and entirely comprehend the other. Their dreams are the only experiences which allow each to comprehend the other, despite their being "two lovers of one gender/we were two women of one generation."