by Carlie Daley
At night when her body lay still, her mind roamed restlessly. It sputtered, faltered, grew thirsty and insatiable like a rusty bike. Sleep came but the dreams held out. Neon lights bled through, tormenting her bones.
She yearned for wild weeds to tumble through her mind. Unfurling like vespertine flowers, revealing the pearls within her waking life. Instead they were soldered shut like virgins’ thighs.
From her small window always the twinkle of Venus in the dark morning followed by cries to mark the day. Sometimes she’d catch a glimpse; a face or a scene, but it would evaporate like smoke. Sucked into a vacuum.
Across the world she saw the clenched faces of insomniacs sparring with themselves, tangled in bed sheets, yet she found no solace in their shared suffering. Struggling not for sleep as she travelled through the night, a grim reaper propelled by a storm of black thoughts.
All the while a babe slept softly beside her, murmuring and babbling, as she roamed on endlessly for that bridge between sleep and waking. Yet it always eluded her. If only she could enter the clean, sparse mind of her newborn. If only she could dream again.