Today's poem is by Lisa Fay Coutley

To Sleep

not as a woman who brews tea and kneels
on rice but one who swims with narcolepsy,

who cinches all the alleys into darkness
and fells trees, who forces a bit into the mouth

of aurora borealis until the moon parades
its wounds in color, until her limbs go numb

scene by scene, by sleight of hand, by flip
turning in a lukewarm pool between what walls

we build, between what shocks we tuck in
tight, between what we somersault and dredge

from our eyes at the temperature of sleep
without drowning, without burning

our temples, without righting the lies we tell
our minds to make us fade, to make us stay

still and take it, to make us love paralysis
to such a point we jump in water, legless.

Copyright © 2011 Lisa Fay Coutley All rights reserved
from In the Carnival of Breathing
Black Lawrence Press
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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