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   

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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.

For further reading:

Browse the contents of 42opus Vol. 8, No. 4, where "crash of sleep" ran on February 20, 2009. List other work with these same labels: poetry, prose poem.

42opus is an online magazine of the literary arts.

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