I hear the waves slapping higher
on the planks. Are you awake?
I hear a fire leaning on the door.
Someone should check on him.
He’s only turning in his sleep.
But listen. Lightning bugs
are sizzling out in a vast
sealed vault. Claws of canned laughter
are scratching inside the wall.
Something soft and heavy
is thudding in a dryer, and wire
from a hacked battery
is being stripped by tiny hands.
He’s turning. And you are
not out of your dream. And I—
just now I thought that pillow
squeezed between your knees
was his head. Sleep.
I can’t. Nobody came for me
in that district of dark mortgages
where the people wore the masks
of dried tears, having crushed
the things they imagined
their hands were protecting.
I know. Sometimes I seem to hear
my own dead father’s voice calling
as if into a speaker he’s far away from,
saying he is coming for me now,
just as fast as the Earth is turning.