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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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