An Insomniac’s Pledge

For you, I will embark on a journey of sleeplessness.

For you, I will embark

on a journey of sleeplessness.


I don’t sleep well in your arms.

This is not a betrayal, I swear —

I’d rather be awake in your embrace,

staring into the dark

planning projects with the moon

and listening to you snore

than sleep soundly with anyone else.

I will come to this bed

ready to turn and toss

to tangle and untangle myself in

the blankets. To fluff and to flatten

these three pillows again

and again, just

to listen to you breathe beside me.

Your snores are tiny airplanes

writing poetry in the sky of my night.


I will be by turns hot with cold feet

and cold with cold feet too.

I will abandon all hope of equilibrium

to snuggle.

Occasionally, I might become rigid,

I might resent

the slippery snooze, the tight clench

of consciousness — I might sigh,

and grumble, and you might stir.

And then I will remember

to kiss your cheeks as you drowse

vulnerable-soft beside me.

I will allow you to gather me,

reaching out in slumber to pull my body

close. I will lay in uncomfortable positions,

stay quiet in your arms

so you will remain asleep

(having gathered a bouquet of flowers

or a basket of laundry in your dreams).


The day comes; my eyes are rough.

But I will return every night

to this bed with you. I will drink

endless coffee, will make the effort

so that I can be here

to stare at the ceiling

to ruminate, and write stories,

agonize, analyse,

and make trivial lists as I wait.


Your even breaths

beside me

are better than any dream.

Art by: Carolina Buzio

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