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Insomniac: Stage IV

By Ilene Kaminsky



Morning yawns and stretches its arms

To part the curtains of night.

Tired midwife to light from

From her expectant horizon

The earth inches towards her morning.

Clean, cool fingers weave threads

Of sweet perfumed wisteria and more

Unnamable long forgotten blooms.

Clean and combed through dew damp air.

Buds nodding on their stems,

Draw blood from my veins with thorns

Like cat claws after a scare.


Suddenly clouds burst and showers fall

To save dry backyards and crops

Now cut away from the view unguarded

From natures reach over treetops.

Lost years and fences already raised

Desperate for mending and tattered.

Puddled earth evicts worried worms,

Plucked by late rising birds from their

Broken homes.


While in my solitary confinement,

Within an escapable white picket fenced

Yard, I wave farewell to school busses

And to the workers who clean up the world.

Alone to remember cubes and corners

Push pinned photos, plaques of platitudes,

Email boxes and bustling buildings

Where tight schedules and bright slides

Bore like radiation into the heads of

Departments of the thoughtless and benign.


My wooden porch now a port of call for

Rain long overdue for such late afternoons.

I’m stuck in an everlasting April spring day.

As sprinklers timed soak the lawn

The sun’s last rays motion with

Long, scolding fingers at

Now unknowable faded faces

Trapped like tonight’s fish for supper

In this morning’s papers.


Laid out on a communal table

Where wisdom and innocence

Convene to discuss the current

Events of still births and deaths.

Hands engaged with wild gestures

Waving forks and spoons for effect -

Interrupting pointless chatter to flatter

And cut meat from a fatted calf.

Everyone silenced by politeness,

Sliced right through the art of the matter.


The evening’s news flickers

Behind shades of taffeta mmllooookmm

Hiding shadow boxes inside windows.

Like a sober fly in a glass of whiskey

Wet wings legs spinning drowned

The hands of its god take it down.


I walk with solitude as she unwraps

Her arms thick with compassion

Beckoning me inside for consolation.

Using one wave to cast away

Anyone who might see me crying.

We sit together on a dark park bench

Watching every creature under suburban

Skies that all fit on a single broom stick.

If no one bothers then no one counts

Things yet unseen, like angels

Atop a pin head. Yet we must believe

That stars still sparkle until the dark unveils

Who’s home and left behind

To sing unearthly cries of grief.


Arched branches bow green

Soft leaves shake and flow

From willows left weeping

While night whispers to me:

Please save us all.

As the trees fade to black,

Wind whips at my face.

From the fringes, howls

Break into my mind.

I can no longer breathe

hidden and weak

In the between

With these heavier things.

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