Night Seven

Give me a good night’s sleep
over a half decent day,
Knock me out,
then tuck me in.

Anything to beat
my nightly burdens.
During which I lie to myself internally,
while lying in these sheets,
these cotton constrictions,
my straightjacket absence of slumber.
Where the walls close in
and the ceiling refuses to move,
always too far away.

Seven nights,
(seven sleepless nights).
My head a prison,
my legs overhanging,
as if ready to give up and walk away.

I’d walk a marathon if it meant
that I might finish it sleepwalking.
I’d walk the world asleep,
as long as I was asleep.
It’d beat this comatose existence
where I drag myself from day to day,
taking cold showers to wake myself up
drinking coffee at regular intervals
from the same cup.
It always tasted like failure.

Sweat-soaked sheets
grinding teeth
suspended feet
on my back and on edge,
waiting for it to all end.

I don’t remember falling asleep.
I remember waking up,
and the relief it brought.
Freedom, finally,
and what it meant to me.

Chichester, August 2016


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