My Kind of Tired: Attempt at a Reversible Poem

I can’t tell you how tired you are. 
I can’t say if yours is better or worse than mine. 
I can only describe my own.

Have you ever been so sleepy?
do you fall asleep in your dreams?
Usually mine are so vivid
these are blurry, unfocused
Head nodding, word salad, missing words and pieces of conversations
You just want sleep. You just need sleep.

Where do you go from there? 
You’re already dreaming.

WAKE UP.

The time, the time. What is it? 3, three… 20? 
Normally you’d welcome this. 
it’s as if you’re the fourth person to use this sleep.

And back into the murky dreams you sink. 
Your limbs are so heavy. 
Now you’re speaking to someone, they’re paying you no mind. 
You need more sleep. Sit down. Rest.

WAKE UP WAKE UP.

Are you ready? 
It could be worse, whatever stands in your way
Like your mind. Like your body.

Like being awakened by the chill of your own cold sweat three nights running.
An unfortunate side-effect.

The haze of sleep deprivation is a hard thing to describe, 
like doing eye-spy through fractured rose-colored glasses.
You stare at everything a little too long. 
What were you thinking about? What did you want?

A drought of deep sleep has brought those slimy emotions up from the depths and close to the surface.

Careful, careful as you go. 
Wouldn’t want to get too worked up
complain unnecessarily
inconvenience anyone
do ya’?

SO MUCH TO DO

… it’s mid-afternoon. 
Panic sets in. 
Where’s the to-do list? 
It’ll set you right. Everything’s there. So much wasted time already.

You did make the list, didn’t you? 
There, there, on the table. 
Among ads, coupons, receipts, the occasional letter or bill. 
The notepad, the pen, just as you left them.

Just as you left them, blank.


SO. I have literally never attempted to write a poem that can be read forwards and backwards. Actually, I don’t think I’ve tried to follow any rules in the ‘poetry’ I’ve written here so far. It’s a foreign language I’m nonetheless drawn to and I appreciate whenever ‘native’ or experienced speakers humor me.

Show your support

Clapping shows how much you appreciated EJ Terry’s story.