Today's poem is by Roy Jacobstein

A Form of Optimism

I doze in tranches and planes,
      angled acutely
            like some Cubist harlequin.

Easy once, that nightly pirouette
      into REM sleep,
            but what with the road rage,

dirty bombs, malevolent spores,
      it's clear that's Oblivion
            whose sulfurous wheezes

are singeing our neck-hairs,
      hence my new habit
            of sleeping with the lights on—

which doesn't mean sleep's
      a bad thing, in fact
            its lack makes everyone's bones

cry out, and right now my vertebrae
      are emitting a cascade
            of wails to do a banshee proud.

O numinous world!, where a thing
      so routine, so banal
            as tonight's pastel sky

still takes one's breath, even as out there
      they're searching for the next
            seven-year-old stolen from her bed

while asleep, and cactuses in the desert
      (where the body waits)
            already are entering bloom.

Copyright © 2006 Roy Jacobstein All rights reserved
from A Form of Optimism
Northeastern University Press
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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