What Keeps me Up

What Keeps Me Up 

The wounded toes of ballerinas, 

the violet shell of a grandson’s ear, 

three small olives at rest 

in their own green blood.

The dark trees along the horizon 

scrawling a sentence I can’t understand. 

Twelve useless elixirs 

on my nightstand, bought 

to heal my tension. My tension

so deep, so quivering deep, my muscles 

wear me out, but won’t let me sleep. 

A pneumatic drill down the valley 

echoing like a brakeless train. 

Malarial clouds from western fires

cindering the crops on the fruited plains.

Jets on the runway, blunt nosed and silver, 

blind to the Afghans waving their arms.

The country of the homeless. Awake. 

Wide awake. Eyes bright as nighttime cats. 

Nowhere to sleep. Nowhere to sleep. 

Lord, there’s nowhere to sleep 

in the home of the brave.

What are you looking for?