Requiem for Sleep

p
o
e
m
s

The awake, all straight-backed
and well-groomed, wait at a table
made of sharp sunlight. I’m late
as usual, but this is the morning

I give in, sign over everything:
pillow-gluttony, sheet-sickness,
the blanket’s wrapper like skin
on my skin, clock meaningless.

This solo has gone on far too long,
this cat’s life, drunk, disappearing,
the bed itself my ravenous lover;
goodbye, we will be acquaintances.

I must be alert to my own dying,
push away dreams’ hot reason.
I must walk on gravel and not hide
in cakey layers. The soft cloth

around me will bristle, hairshirt
an alarm: You’ll miss everything.
Get up, the day is waiting,
that crooked clown.

Emily Gordon is a poet and critic living in New Haven, Connecticut. Her poems have appeared in Painted Bride Quarterly, Women’s Review of Books, Indie Soleil, and elsewhere.

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