Saturday, March 26, 2011

I Love You (Even Though Neither One of Us Sleeps Anymore)

I have two abstract lines
going through my head
as I lie, concretely, in bed.

One declares that all of my
mind is a theater, shows and play,
the other insists a million years

have passed since yesterday.
Baby Sequoia chirps and stirs,
and I roll her over to me to wake.

You've been up ten times or more
it seems like since we tried
to get ourselves to slumber.

I take our tiny culprit out the door
and change another diaper.
Sun in the morning, clouds afternoon,

while I prep classes, you keep
the chubby little rebel awake,
in hopes tonight she'll sleep.

Finally we get out of the house,
you for a run in the red rocks,
baby and me for a drive.

We make it home more asleep
than alive, but you strap her
to your belly and start to cook

and I sit back down at this
damned excuse for not
writing a book, when you say

"I love good wind chimes"
and my dull brain, ancient
and dazed, spins backward

instantly, to another globe,
the first time I heard chimes, this
boy from suburban New Jersey

where plaster statues on lawns
were the norm, not little bells
that clamor of incoming storms.

It was October in Missoula, Montana--
the night had gone suddenly cold
and mean black as I walked home

down a street of old houses
that was eerily empty by my
East Coast standards, and the wind

whipped down the shabby alley
to send off a glimmering tunnel of small
brass and bamboo wind chimes

on both sides of the barren street.
The memory was sudden and sweet,
and I told you about it in the kitchen.

"You didn't have wind in New Jersey?"
you joked, and I loved you like crazy,
even though neither one of us sleeps.

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