All posts tagged sleep

At the End

Published January 7, 2015 by April Fox

At the end
there will be no bells rung
to herald your departure
No great beam of light
reaching down
to call you home

You will not wander,
pale and spectral
through the halls of all the places
that you loved
and that you hated
dropping pennies, moving objects
only slightly to the left
making birdsongs from the music
of your voice.

They will talk with quiet reverence
of who you used to be
They will pick apart your life with tiny sharpened forks
and throw away the ugly pieces
that defy their wishful thinking

You will be a saint
in the arms of those who left you
carried over into nothing
in the hands of their good-byes

And at the end, among the grass and weeds
under a bright and burning sun
silent and forgiving
you will sigh away to sleep
and sleep alone.

On Waking Early

Published January 3, 2014 by April Fox

In this time of
tiny creatures
hands like
pale spider legs
trapped in amber, I find my
breath is not
my own, my melted
has fused with his and there is one
screaming for
every inch the sun breaks in he holds on
mine,” he says
muddy-voiced with sleep

A year ago he marked his skin
with pastel colors
where I slept.

four seventeen

Published April 17, 2013 by April Fox

i ravage his treasure
steal from the dreams he keeps locked inside
his simmering head
written out longhand, his sharp letters
a path to the stars

night, darker than the furthest corner from the sun
and i am nightmares raging, waking out of breath
unable to speak
with my own voice
unable to see
with my own eyes
i am helpless
in this grip

and before, the sun baked us warm
and whole
cooked out of us the memories
of anything gone wrong
melted hand to hand
five thousand feet in the air
we touched the clouds
cool air on our skin
terrified of the altitude
exhilarated, pale
through the fear
(he photographed me there, sitting near the edge
sky stretched out behind me
i trust him to let go
and not to let me fall)

daybreak, noon and i am
more than tired.
breathing in the scent of him, his arm draped across me
like he owns the world
-he might
if what he says is true
and from the depths of madness i reach in
extract the thing i need the most
asleep, he knows i’m there
fingers spread, he reaches
for my hand
and won’t let go.


photo by Anthony Dorion


Published February 21, 2013 by April Fox

i said,
in my sleep,
i want
whispered, face turned away
from the sleeping back beside me
i took it back almost immediately
just in case
my voice might have carried

kept inside
the selfish bits
wander loose from time to time
always to be
the only thing

my system of belief is flawed and perfect
the only true religion and like any good
i hear what i want to hear
and make believe the rest*

every second taken is a million years away
from where i was
every second given, crushed
and trampled
under quick-retreating feet
blue painted toenails in combat boots
i gave the world a tiny peek
i wish i’d kept it that way

tired, in my waking sleep i whisper
i want
to be the only
that ever could be
i want something
only mine
selfish greed, and i am
in my haste.

*with apologies to simon and garfunkel, whose sentiment has clearly leaked into my head today.

2.13 in the morning, 2.13.

Published February 5, 2013 by April Fox

what if i’ve
forgotten how to sleep
and all i’ll ever do it sit here
with my eyes burnt out and my skull cracked from the pressure
of my brain trying to escape
and hide someplace warm and safe
where there aren’t any bugs
or verbs
or thoughts

what if,
for that matter,
all of the verbs just stopped
and there were only
fighting for position

that’s what it’s like in here
fucking insomnia
and i can’t turn out the lights.

End of November

Published November 30, 2012 by April Fox

36304_544356902258038_533063063_nyou can’t make this stuff up
(i mean you could
with a little imagination
and if you drank just the right amount
of cheap, cold beer
before you settled in
to think
but it wouldn’t be real then
and this is)

-as real as it gets
without shoving over to the other side
where it becomes philosophy
and then religion
and the opposite,
of anything remotely

scattered around, little heads and dark, slow breaths
half-awake, courting sleep
lazy in the knowledge
that school is out tomorrow
their stocking feet dangle
over torn arms of old sofas
a cat curled here in the nook of one elbow
a stuffed cow tossed carelessly
down near a hip
clean fingernails
and slightly stained t-shirts
smelling, still
of cold air and laundry soap
one dim light burning
fights off the night

in here, the bulb burns like sunlight
too bright for me now, but i’ll live, till it’s time to shut down
-words are extraneous

past my screen, he is split apart
one blue eye
a curl of dark hair
wedding ring catching the too-bright light, holding it
his sleeve shifts and shows me a second of ink
on his arm, and i look away

memorized long ago
all of this, every blink
every shift of a tiny hand, twitching in dreams
every mumbled curse, tapping at keys in frustration
every long, tired sigh
that replaces the worn-out air in the room with
whatever it is
that we are
as we settle, perfection,
down into sleep.

on believing that a funk has been defeated

Published September 3, 2012 by April Fox

driving down the road                                                                                    
reading shit poetry and accidentally singing
a few off-key notes
for the first time ever
in front of him
i knew that life was good and the next day
one blink, one word that wasn’t said
one caught breath sent me
under the covers, sent me
into the dark, silent
dumb and still
i could
move i
not speak i
not feel i
made not of granite
like the songs would make you think
like the cliches believe we are
but spit and ash
and bits of paper, written on
in harsh black
drawn out by
the simple touch
of a hand i know
like my own
i thought i made it
strapped on fairy wings and half-crawled
to my favorite coffee dive
curled up in tattered armchair in the back
and begged a chai
from the man behind
the counter
i don’t know his name
if he has one, which i think
that he may not
smiled wide and fake
felt for a minute
like i might just
make it out
sat down
some twenty hours later
surrounded by the warmth and silence
wind slaps chimes outside and i wish
a storm would come and the truth is
underneath the costumes
hiding just beyond his reach
i am theirs, i am
-and gratefully
-if i owned myself
i’d trade me in
for sure.

more meandering; 81912

Published August 19, 2012 by April Fox

russian spiced
with a splash of
milk and too much
rickie lee is tinny through the
speakers here, but i am
too lazy to move
six inches
and put a record on.

i wish it was raining
(it just started raining as i typed that-
oddly enough)
babes tucked into cozy beds and i in mine
wrapped tight in the presence
of everything safe

i tell him, when he’s gone-
i miss your fuzzy body-
the house is too quiet now, the hush is negative
if i move too quickly
i might be
sucked in
and die.

there is only my breathing here
and that’s unreliable
at best.

fall is creeping in, painting the edges of summer
with cool mornings and nights that feel like
pulling blankets up
and slamming windows closed-
but not just yet.

the trees put up a valiant fight but they are losing
ground, collapsing
one by one
leaves give up and fade
and it’s like seeing them
through glasses smudged
with dirt and tears

i need a time machine
a rewind button
back to sun, to long lazy days
lying in the grass with one arm
thrown over my eyes
keeping watch over the children
by the sounds of their laughter
passing by

when i am scared, he holds my head
cradled in his lap
and brushes my hair back
with his fingers
till i sleep.

Untitled Insomniac Meandering

Published March 12, 2012 by April Fox

we are here and it could be that
life has slowed
or even stopped for a minute or seven or
a million; you know how we are
about time.
last night we laughed, arguing about whether or not
it was possible
to lose a measure of time
circled thoughts like children on tricycles
in half-safe parking lots of low-rent
apartment complexes, steady and shaky
both coming from the same place
taking opposite lanes and intersecting
paths and words and pretending
to make sense.
today, in a cemetery:
will we be buried next to each other?
[or something else; and that’s for us to know, not you]
and how could we think anything but that?
sun and there was grass beneath our feet-
yesterday, on top of everything, the planet
angled sharp below us
above us sky and wires growling softly
warning us to go
and in a moment i will curl myself up
small inside the deadhead t-shirt
stolen from your pile on the shelf
and i might wonder, briefly, once again
if hyphens are a compromise, a concession to the patriarchal-
maybe not
maybe i’ll just sleep
and let things be.

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