-- tacks in the ceiling: sleep as pastime forgotten by soot
blackened walls, culled draperies, shrouded chalk dust vest
nettled like a veil. Your brother stood guard at the window,
pulled a grimace tight like a leather boot, his spleen of lion's
milk, his city whose trenches ran deeper, deeper, waves
shackled to the ocean floor archipelago of women who
cry out, of men who glide by like swordfish, who pry
the sash-filtered firelight from a deep blue spool --
Your reasons were simple: We all notice an ambulance.
We can't get far enough away.
Blight was punishment enough, you said
as you laid in bed like a glass lake
reflecting the sky reflecting the earth reflecting the moon.
You mistook sleep to be your womb.