20 February 2009 | Vol. 8, No. 4
crash of sleep
it is 7:30 am on the 4 train to the bronx we are heading fast uptown doors swinging rough out from their sockets rush of burnside fordham road kingsbridge terrace old armory dirt and trash mark the concrete below me rip of train i sit next to a woman with the number nine on her chest sprawling her breasts stretched her baby sleeps below sound no babies lost intact still sweet asleep lavender baby bottles and satin blankets no rush of nowhere nothing lost on this 4 train no stolen intake of breath no thick water up to our waists just steady we both read the papers quiet this morning does not erupt like we think it must baby names not old enough to grow up we think unravel of wet dust the ocean is not near enough for me to swallow it salt water sand castles bust wide open there is not enough no wading no ankle deep no babies to find feet to grab quick to we are just riding the 4 train mosholu parkway and dreaming loose limbs to hang onto dreaming news we can read without our throats burning and our mouths open screaming and wide without the heavy soot covering us and the baby the baby sleeps we keep her that way
About the author:
Ellen Hagan is a writer, performer, and educator. Based in New York, her work can be found in the pages of Failbetter, La Petite Zine, nervygirl, Monologues for Women by Women Volumes I & II, Check the Rhyme: An Anthology of Female Poets & Emcees, Submerged: Tales from the Basin, America! What's My Name?, PLUCK, and upcoming in Underwired Magazine. She has been nominated twice for a Pushcart Prize, and an excerpt from her novel, BLUSH, was chosen as a winner for the 2007 Next Great Writers Competition at the Carnegie Center in Lexington, Kentucky.