178 Readings

We Are All Drowsy

It’s difficult to sleep when desks
keep bumping into my dreams.
How long before students’ voices

stop bouncing off my forehead?
Their worries settle inside
my neck, asking, What’s another verb

for need? How do I explain 
that I’ll give it back eventually?
When I don’t have the answers,

I spend the night in my car
and stare out the sunroof
at the moon. It tells me to 

sleep more and worry less
about whether the engine will
fail or if my students will catch

fire. To pay closer attention
to how grass pushes its head out
our fence, and maple leaves refuse

to fall, despite winter saying yes.
Traffic cascades into manholes
in my dreams while sparrows ruffle

their bellies in street dust.
We are all drowsy with evening
and too much flight.

Posted 10/21/13
This poem originally appeared in PMS poemmemoirstory Number 12.