on insomnia and life
on insomnia and life
They said write what you know
and i know insomnia,
i know the itch to fall asleep and the wide-awake eyes closed fooling yourself,
the hours wasted, minutes so unearthly
stretched out and twanging.
i know how the head throbs and the mind rolls,
i know the next day
when you sleep maybe two hours near dawn
and how doing anything at all is brave and stern.
i know how you look at other people when you’ve had no sleep
and how you wonder what they are dealing with.
i know the struggle to get through the day,
the bitterness of too much coffee
needed to keep trucking,
the moment where you feel the tears well up
because someone who doesn’t know snaps at you,
the head sinking to the desk,
the bittersweet and comforting music,
the innocuous ad that seems real because you are broken.
i know the sudden longing
for a pipe and matches and clear cold air
for a good chair and a beer,
for a chest to lay your muddled head on,
eyes to get lost in.
Defenses down when you’re tired, hell, hormones running high
there is no better advertisement for relationship
than an aching back in an empty bed.
I know sometimes all you want is grandparents
and there are none and there’s no one to blame.
I know lightbulbs and toothpaste
and the cost of life and it adds up until
you get weary with the counting
and there isn’t anything left to hold and feel good about.
I know how long shadows look when you’re awake and scared
how the face in the mirror doesn’t seem connected to you anymore
i know how your knees crack in the morning
and your feet hurt at night
i know the fear everyone else wants you
to pick up and carry around
the well-meaning family and the ill-mannered friends
here, share it, and I know
how hard you have to fight
to keep it out of your arms
because it wants your embrace.
I know flannel and the comfort of winter
the resource of melancholy,
the plains of uninterrupted breathing space,
I know the wail and bellow,
the cries, the whispers,
I know bourbon and ice between teeth,
I know good sound and bad sound and flat and sharp, I know.
I know smiling when you pick up the phone, and picking it up
over and over until it’s always in your hand
with that smile always on your face
but never in your heart or eyes. I know.