Keegan Lester

The Topography of Sleep

 

 

fugue’s peak usage in the 1950’s

 

was a little bit before us, edith.

 

with all the things we ask

 

children to perform in war,

 

it’s no wonder its popularity.

 

somewhere else, we are

 

done dancing. we are picking

 

our clothes up off your living room floor

 

for the second time today.

 

one day, i’ll listen as you sing

 

as you avoid cutting your knees

 

with a razorblade

 

in a tub with talons on its feet.

 

one day i’ll tell you about the picture show

 

at the Brooklyn waterfront,

 

where summer had forgotten how to be summer

 

and i shared a stranger’s apple juice

 

spiked with vodka

 

and missed my flight the next day.

 

that’s the reason i was late

 

to the sock hop

 

and we didn’t touch cheeks that night.

 

this is the morning i listen

 

 

for the birds outside to speak

 

in a language as much there’s

 

as it is ours, that can leave us

 

just as easily. this is the morning

 

that very much like the moment

 

before the moment happens---

 

everything is still somewhat unexplainable.

 

if i had a time machine, i’d use it.

 

i’m no superman edith,

 

but you already knew that.

 

the radio in the corner of this place

 

(which does not exist) is talking

 

about the piles of bodies

 

piled atop other bodies

 

in trenches in a country whose dirt

 

our neighbor collects in mason jars

 

in his garage, labeled with calligraphy

 

sharpie on duct tape.

 

if i had a time machine, it would be

 

black with ink. it would run

 

on the power from the flux capacitor

 

in the cartilage between my ribs

 

where i listen better

 

to all the strings attached to other theories

 

about strings attached to christmas lights

 

where for better or mostly worse

 

something blooms

 

out, that hasn’t been written yet.

 

i’ve done the division of maps and sleep over time,

 

forgetting to carry the zero.

 

everything invisible is still waiting.

 

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