Turn your back on me tonight. Don’t let me see
your red opossum eyes staring back from the dark.
My pillow is my other child: I hold him to my chest
when I dream of things forbidden I have in common
with every other man I’m tied to on this earth.

I’m warning you, the bed hums with electricity.
Don’t come too close when you slide your body next to mine:
one touch is all it will take to wipe your brain clean of memories.
And we have so many, you and I. How many nights
have we made love in my La-Z-Boy at 2 a.m.

while my wife walks alone in a dark field of white poppies?
Remember our first anniversary? The toast we drank?
One sip of scotch for our first night together; another sip
for all the nights ahead of us; a final sip for your child,
the son who pulls me nightly from the deep well of sleep.

So many memories can’t be worth losing
for the sake of a night awake with me. So many
memories that if you were to stack one atop the other
like all the pills I’ve swallowed in vain to keep you away,
they would stretch at least to the sun, that great disk

of sleeplessness you honor with my every waking hour.

Kip Knott | Mudlark No. 26
Contents | Making Love with Sleeplessness