4 February 2008 | Vol. 7, No. 4
An illusion, but not. My cataplexy, and else.
Your obvious bone gone home to itself.
And I am left alone with the thousand oblivions
That float the jasperine seas of night.
It's a furnace of the first place, fever of mine.
The mattress can't be trusted. I suture shut my eyelids.
I align my terrors to their predetermined brinks.
But the bed that is my boat, slopes lee side,
Then sinks. I breathe through glued-on gills,
And krill swarm into my lungs. It's an unconscious
Christ who sleepwalks on water. I'm an atom
Not in her element. A delible, washed-away
Splotch on God's pavement. I rave a gape-
Jawed lament to a pagan's moon. Oh firmament.
Oh metaphor. Oh Father. Our lifetimes
Are too soon over. And sleep is for ghosts
And lovers. I'm alive, but only in error,
It seems. I dream but to distract me from
These things. But the black room's mood,
It haunts me like a revenant.
The disrevelry of unraveling never ends.
The vague and vagrant longings of a whipworm
Who is hostage to her host. In the dark, I miss you
Most. Hell is like a bed that's like a boat.
About the author:
Jill Alexander Essbaum's newest collection, Harlot, is available from No Tell Books.
For further reading:
See the complete list of work by Jill Alexander Essbaum at 42opus. Browse the contents of 42opus Vol. 7, No. 4, where "The Nyctophobe" ran on February 4, 2008. List other work with these same labels: poetry.