January 2017 Nightmare: Poem inspired by two paintings at the Mint Museum

Hollowed men and women traversing an orange landscape confused where? afraid did we? searching go wrong? the boasters, the braggarts, the blind roared, raised fists, summoned the monster now the brown ones, the yellow ones, the gay ones, the white witches, the kind men, the brainy ones, the crones all tremble and wail, under the noxious clouds as the hollowed ones build walls, plunder banks, ravish our earth with black blood foaming from their mouths and then there are the ones who said nothing who silently drove past the churches and schools who did not pull the lever push the button, speak, say, no, this is not what we want Turn quickly, see the other dream fleeting on


I wake up, look at my phone, 3:16 a.m. Why? My heart thumps. Why? I roll over stare at the ceiling where there is no fan because it sits in a box unassembled by my bed where it has been for months. The air is heavy and resists my lungs. My skin burns. It's as if I'm shackled. Why get up? The blinds are shut against the world. My ear is cold. I press into the mattress as if it's a coffin, a warm inviting coffin. And I wait for sleep to slip under the sheet to press its fingers on my eyelids. I wait patiently for this taste of oblivion, practicing patience, waiting for the longer night.

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