February 14, 2012. Sleep. CWE 135

Here lies Annie, prepared for her wake, ramrod straight with the sheets pulled midchest. She’s a silent shot in the dark, straight as an arrow. Here lies Elaine beside her. Elaine is violent and most alive as she falls asleep. She is peaceful like a small, sweaty child once she falls asleep. She is restless, and she turns in bed like the pages of a book until she’s knotted the sheets into a tight nest around her warming body. Sometimes Annie pokes her hip or lays a hand on her face. Elaine curls in on herself like a pillbug. Her arm is still and her wrist quivers like a pair of insect wings. Her fingers tap a quick tune into the night air. Her eyelashes stir like antannae. She sweats into the sheets, softening them into a pulpy pile. Her hair is turned in cowlicks, her face drained of color. Her thin body is bent at the joints like a discarded marionette, knees to shoulders, elbows to ankles. She sleeps like a song sung or a poem written. In the way that songs and poems pull movement across still pieces of paper. Falling into sleep, she is Annie’s favorite poem.


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