[Rooms by the Sea, Edward Hopper, 1951]
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 beginnnings
to post-midnight ends and I would look for
your concern, try to see how special a case I am.
And then I noticed how all my poems
hug the side wall of the paper
cement siding holding
on to the vertical
hunching in the shoulders,
eating popcorn at one in the morning.