Sleep is pale honey:
a mirage slipping backwards over a dune
to a mixed-up piper’s improvisational tune.
Strap on a motorcycle helmet. There are bees
in the bedroom and you are ready to be allergic.
Take these pills, count your breath
like you don’t want to spend it
on this. Insomnia: a continuous loop
of continuous loopy that room-darkening drapes
cannot occlude. White noise machines, in stereo,
mask the nostril friction rattle earplugs amplify,
but not the midnight snack’s encore,
or the astounding distance a Cheerio will roll
on the linoleum floor. The unison hum of the moonlit
kitchen is the orchestra of a mosquito.
Sleep is your tiny arm of eternity
cramped under a pillow, freed
from the body’s weight
with its need to collect and gather
drawn up in a Valium
swarm that coalesces to numb.
Will there be/
There will be
An incarnadine sky and a theme park
Rolling green fauvist grass
And a lost love who lives on and on
Glossy black hair, translucent white skin
Soon, his smooth cheeks welling up
His young hands smoothing the knots
Where family left off
He’s come to show you
Not how to get here
[Sleep as rebellion];
He’s come to tuck
Your heart in
Anon.

 

STACY ROLLINS is a writer, visual artist, singer, Rennie, and fitness enthusiast who lives in Park Slope’s historic district in Brooklyn, NY. Her first complete sentence – spoken at nine months of age – was, “I’ll get you.” It has served as a guiding principle ever since. She earned her M.A. in Creative Writing at FSU and has authored two books, Truer Faults and Learning to Read. Her other crowning achievements include designing her own religion, “Stanism,” while in law school, and also dropping out of law school. Her work has appeared in Atticus Review, Everyday Genius, Diversion Press, Black Heart Magazine, Crack the Spine, Poetry Quarterly, New York Dreaming, Garbanzo, Nailed Magazine, Spine, Shantih, The Oleander Review, and Rat’s Ass Review.