Sleep is quiet and calm on most nights,
and is a coin tossed in the well of forgetfulness.
It keeps lips sealed for a few hours and reminds the eyes to not betray realities too tainted with
But this shadow, this cloth clinging to my chest in this summer heat, wraps itself around my ribcage,
even as I temporarily forget it exists.
It shows up in a back too stiff, too arched against the mattress,
Arms numb under the weight of a head.
You see my neck has learned to scoop in on itself, it is always chin to chest these days.
Clenched jaw and fingers curled into fists keep the rest of me company,
As I make a habit out of waking up tired,
Brush away questions about the shadows growing under my eyes,
Lie about last night’s smudged kohl.
It’s easier to explain the clumsiness of this skin,
Than these grapevine thoughts that loop over and underneath this freshly made bed.
So in this endless parade of overslept mornings, bedtimes creeping into the a.m. and
Afternoon naps like erasers of unease,
I keep sleep like emergency defense mechanism, it muffles the sound of alarms
Going off inside and out.
And when you call me up mid day and the answer on the line is a blurred yes,
Keep the phone down,
Understand that maybe this quiet and calm has not turned on itself yet,
That it is still escape,
And I’d like to keep it that way,
For another 5 minutes.
I haven’t paid much attention to this place in quite a while. Maybe I should change that.
Until We Meet Again