Starlight let me open to you, to the space between us. Please don’t go to bed early. Stay up with me. Stay up late and let me not wither. Let mystery not be ponderous, but held lightly and without the use of my hands.
Stay into the deep hours when my mind’s simmering viscous broth gives way to cool clear water and my heart burns at a high and reckless temperature. Watch the fire blaze through the window of my chest, sweet smoke rising through the bars of my rib cage. Stay up with intricate whispers, elaborate cravings, convoluted borders, thirst, calypso, genie-like earlobes dangling heavy with rings.
Stand balanced on the edge of the blade dividing sleep from awake, and marvel at how alone and not-alone we all are, how the spirit voices are always there but do not just obediently come when called, how the tide is the sound of the ocean breathing.
And only once the marveling is done, only once I have been properly astounded, sufficiently rattled, let me surrender to the unremembered temple of well-fed lions – the drawn cloak of sleep.
C.M. RIVERS grew up in Oregon's Willamette Valley. Nominated twice for the Pushcart Prize, his poetry has appeared in several literary magazines and online journals, and has sometimes been read in yoga classes. His poetry book, How to Carry Soup, will be out in 2020.
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