(Reprinted from my chapbook, “This Dream of Being” by Emmeline, published 2005 by Zinn Graphics, Vermont.)
the pill it feels enormous in your mouth-
hook your tongue around its acrid edge, wooing
sleep skirting slyly
into the ragged corners of your festering mind,
but Sleep, that bitch, will never come
even when you beg her
or else trips you hard from behind
brandishing her terror skeins
to weave macabre
her Boschian nightscape-
sealing your eyes
with Novocain needle & dental floss
from the inside out-
The relationship between betrayal and insomnia is a close one. I can get through the day with busily completing all my tasks, but the despair and endless questions of “why?” settle down upon me as soon as I lay down at night.
Several years ago, I was diagnosed with a sleep disorder characterized by nightmares, and I did have to start taking medication to help with sleep because my brain was unable to complete a REM cycle on its own. I would fall asleep for an hour, go into REM, wake up, fall back asleep, go into REM, etc.
So sleep hasn’t come easily to me for years, and dealing with the betrayal issue isn’t helping things. Napping helps. Warm cuddly dogs help, too.
- If Insomnia Isn’t It: Other Sleep Disorders (fyiliving.com)