SORRY TO HAVE TO TELL YOU THIS

 

Sleep as a regenerator?

 

Forget it.

 

ItÕs more like a coffin,

 

all soft and satiny,

 

but with a lid anxious

 

to slam shut

 

and a world full of

 

hungry worms and weevils

 

at the ready.

 

As for dreams,

 

theyÕre just subconscious

 

sleight-of-hand.

 

The truth is in the nightmares.

 

There really is a monster

 

crawling out from under the bed.

 

A demon at the window.

 

A revenant emerging from the closet.

 

WakingÕs no help.

 

DayÕs merely a gravesite.

 

From morning until sleep-time,

 

you dig your own.

 

 

 

EXPOSURE

 

Cracked sun and crescent moon,

 

pastel horizon, orange and red.

 

ItÕs been a day when so many have fallen,

 

when eyes, up and down the block,

 

have shed too many tears with too few hands to wipe them.

 

 

 

The light did such damage.

 

It shone on people who werenÕt prepared for it.

 

Like an archaeologist, the brightness

 

dug up new wrinkles, old scars.

 

It provided more evidence

 

that itÕs near impossible to love another human being.

 

We were all exposed.

 

And didnÕt appreciate the attention.

 

 

 

But thatÕs done with now.

 

The rumpled will soon be ironed out.

 

The faded will acquire distinction.

 

The shadows have a job to do.

 

Without interference,

 

they do it willingly.

 

The truth is pitted

 

with the darkness I prefer.

 

 

 

BYE AND BYE

 

Yes, soon.

 

But right now, IÕm marveling at this miracle,

 

its thousand or so variations.

 

So quit hammering those lips,

 

smudging the redness,

 

and pacing the floor, wearing out your shoes.

 

I just want this moment to myself,

 

so I can be in my body,

 

my heart, my head,

 

without being skewed by interruption.

 

IÕm feeling my pulse.

 

Amazing.

 

IÕm gathering thoughts.

 

ItÕs wonderful how theyÕre there

 

when I need them.

 

My bowels move.

 

My blood circulates.

 

My nerves act as a courier

 

for the brain.

 

So do you mind

 

if I celebrate this quietly

 

and alone.

 

DonÕt worry.

 

Your time will come.

 

But, for now, IÕm who I am.

 

You can be who you are

 

while youÕre waiting.

 

© John Grey

 

Bio: John Grey is an Australian poet, US resident. Recently published in Midwest Quarterly, Poetry East and North Dakota Quarterly with work upcoming in South Florida Poetry Journal, Hawaii Review and the Dunes Review.