Three Poems
S. Scarlata

Asleep in L.A., 1977

Some are so perfectly tucked in their sleep. I am one in that some. Patterns that oppose one another, a floral and a plaid for instance, they assimilate on me. I align everything in this square. I'm not new at this; extra newsprint for my feet (even dry grass can be wet). Barrier layers. Do you believe I sleep with eyes half open? Not that it matters; it is what it is. Support the cheek with the back of your palm, tweak your other wrist to support your ear on that side. I manage just fine. Manage to hold everything while resting and keeping one eye always peeled. Asleep greeting shade and meeting grass. My one side balances perfectly on its other. I'm proportioned yes, but I've also always thought this is something we were made for.

Sleep in Honolulu, 1971

Are you boxing in your sleep? The way you've threaded yourself through the bench makes your flip-flops so important. Is that a gym bag or is this just the 70s? Careful tote bag, you know you piss people off. I see you have the curly sort of leg hairs, but I don't know how your eyes are in sleep. You brought a pillow, so this must happen often –between time -- after this before that. Your feet being so clean is what holds your shoes on. When you were smaller and people watched you sleep they called you an active sleeper in the language they spoke. You are so perfectly readied, your uppercut poised to clock anyone that interferes.

Sleep in New York, 1975

So proportioned in dark light of the stairs' accordion-folds. I bet that's a bowtie beneath your chin and that your ballet bends are quite true. The arm you are calling out with might be holding something in its hand, but not a thing you are afraid of losing. Your other hand spreads its fingers the exact width of the stripes on your shirt. Your symmetry holds together in sleep. It's a miracle on this promenade, this mall without walls. Your nostrils are barely there. Across your middle there is a shadow like the head and horns of a small deer. Nature making its appearance. There should be fountains around you. Wait, there probably are.