|Jan/Feb 2004 • Poetry • Special Feature|
Do not try to name the constellations:
Ursa Major, Orion, Leo the Lion striding the sky.
They defy finding.
Go cajole some sacred sleep
with room temperature tricks and herbal baths,
lavender infusions and Valerian root.
Sleep does not speak your home language—
maps with pastel borders you cannot cross,
a primeval passport lost long ago.
Lists of mistakes echo and jangle,
crossing time zones and both hemispheres.
Convoluted matter is not gray but
Pink and shiny with myelin.
It brushes against cranial sutures
fused as your past is present.
even the gibbous moon
stares with a certain disdain.