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I haven’t slept
for two thousand years
where nightmares
have overrun my orbit
and my faculties
are no longer my own.
My mind is floating rudderless
in an artificial calm diluted
in everyday chaotic order
and I hear things
but I can choose
not to listen.
My heart is a grating
with wide gaps and
no capacity to close
its fingers around thoughts.
Finally, feelings are
feelings only by name.
Finally they are nothing
but abstract lines
on a primordial plateau,
and the minimal energy
that lets me walk
has nothing of itself to spare
to let me stop and look at them.
The sun absently combs
its rays through my hair
and I lay on this hour,
My soul must have been
threaded through
the eye of a needle, for
I am now thinner, finer
than the memories I have
of my needs.
There are no needs.
I am a not comparative adjective.
I am a not superlative item
on a list of things to do,
no matter how,
passion neither required
nor encouraged.
The farthest I can get
in thinking of love is
calling to mind
a faint flame of color.

Somewhere, in the room,
barricaded from my senses
by the fever induced by
half a million sleepless nights,
except his most basic outline,
is a man.
I wish he were you,
just because the more
wakeful side of me
would have liked that.
I refuse to pick up the puzzle.
The man slips away.
Leaves behind the scent of roses.
I pretend he’s you and
promise to have myself
a good night’s sleep.

“La Vita e Bella” by photographer Charley Fazio