To Sleep
by E.J. Rode

It’s mostly mystery now; war
danger, love and falling and how
some nights we slip like fish
into the warm water of sleep

to dream dreams we weep to leave

of bejeweled doors that disappear
at a touch and a cat who talks
in colors and knows every word
you ever forgot

and forget again on waking

while other nights (no
different; same bed, same
moon, same slant of street-
light bisecting the room) we

twist, toss, begging sleep to take us

scratching scabs off memories
testing to see if
we can make them bleed again. How
mysterious our lives remain
constrained by bodies, minds, days
long past, invisible
fences hammered by hand,

trying to recall where do the nails belong?

No more questions, or waiting
for trains that never come.
Say the first thing that comes to mind.
Call it truth and sew it to your sleeve.

Put out the light. Close your eyes. Pretend to sleep.


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