Woozy with the need for sleep
I sat down to write a poem.
A twentieth-century 1988 fatigue
lay over me, and I pitied myself.
So I fixed some popcorn,
took a dinosaur napkin down
from the refrigerator to wipe
my fingers clean as I ate.
I wrote as I ate, laying ink
and thinking of what I would say to you
tomorrow. I would confess how hard it all was,
a daily grind with pre-dawn beginnings
to post-midnight ends, and I would look for
your concern, try to see how special
a case I am . . . to you.
And then I noticed how all my poems
hug the side wall of the paper
like someone walking safely near
a concrete wall, holding
on to the vertical,
hunching in the shoulders,
eating popcorn at one in the morning.