On Dreamless Sleep – TheScreamOnline
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On Dreamless Sleep

Hughes’s dream deferred
might dry up in the sun
like a raisin

or maybe harden
like chewing gum
on subway pavement

where I was stumbling last night
in three-fifty thread count
late and unprepared

for a test I might have taken
forty years ago
panicked over math problems

taught in classes
I never attended.
Dreamless vanilla sleepers

cow-jumped-over-the-moon
corn syrup poets
Little Bo Peep thimble

collectors eating Applebee’s
pies don’t get the gritty
news showing up

in their ham and coffee
won’t feel the cold
squeeze of diabetes till

late towards dawn
when a leg comes off.
Even Galway forgets

dreamless sleep is Sappho’s death.

Oh please, wrap me in the moving
car without brakes
throw the loudspeaker to kids in the road

when I can’t hear
my own screams
send me down

though I’m expected
on the fortieth floor.
See me forced to scale cliffs

panic-leap the bottomless gorge
cling by fingers to crumbling rock
just below the edge.

Then watch me mind-pull myself to pasture
crawl bare in bluegrass
stir to lidded dawn.

Abby Caplin’s poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Adanna, Big Muddy, Binnacle, Burningwood, Crack the Spine, Forge, The Healing Muse, OxMag, Poetica, Pulse-Voices from the Heart of Medicine, Tiger’s Eye, Tikkun, TSR: The Southampton Review, Willow Review, and several anthologies. She is an award recipient of the San Francisco Poets Eleven 2016 poetry contest, judged by Jack Hirschman. Her poem “Still Arguing with Old Synagogue” was a finalist for the 2015 Anna Davidson Rosenberg Poetry Award. She is a physician and practices Mind-Body medicine in San Francisco, CA. Her website: http://abbycaplin.com

Photo ©Richard Beban