On nights I cannot sleep.
The beating and ticking
become so loud—
to say nothing for her breathing
and sometimes snoring.
She does it better than me.
They all do. I must somehow
help calm their crazy little minds.

I imagine the waterfalls
drying up;
Palm trees and butterflies.
The beautiful rainbows sketched
in wire bound notebooks
of the 15 year old girl—
torn out and crumbled.
A dog chewing her homework
and passing her notes
to the neighbor boy,
while cutting his lawn, shirtless.

I visit death and laugh there,
knowing her chapel will not have me.
I am somewhere between the bed
and the wall, counting my breaths,
waiting for one to skip, another to leap—
and the next to sleep, forever more.

But somewhat like me, it never comes.
There is a vacancy in the space below me.
Sometimes, I think about moving
down a floor— but it seems so much
effort for going nowhere new at all.

Still, I visit death
and her boredom in black empty legroom
that never seems enough
for the dull aching that goes on, down there.
Sometimes, I think I should cut them off
and save my family the surcharge
or the mortician his trouble.
I am somewhere between the bed
and the wall, by the time I begin
to sleep and dream again,
but then am awakened
by her ringtone alarm.

She is a cruel one to sleep with.
But then, they all are. So get up,
make eggs, and go to work.

written on 03/07/2011 by: Matt Kane