Sleeps

Poetry / Daisy King

Outside, the light changes golden hands and colour.
Hypnos tells me it’s okay. I reply, I’m fightless.
Cold daylight chews me into night-time pieces and perhaps
if I tell the sun what I am reading it will stay a little longer.

Everything past the window is uneven and loud
like the ocean. Melancholy and pointed,
all knees and fists and teeth.

September falls into October and paper stays paper
though it used to be trees somewhere in the sun.
October is coming like a train, its whistle echoes for days,
an old steam engine with one hundred thousand windows
and whole rooms for watching time but no space
for little tides, big blinks, or the list of books I must read
before I turn twenty-five.

Light retires with a soporific goodnight
and all that’s left is a dearth of sleep. Imaginary owls
and other big-eyed birds, contemplating stars.

Morning will sound like breathless trees
stretching new leaves, clouds whirling, tiny winds
darting through my sheets until I am grey again.
Sleep is just dust and I hate feeling forgotten, or filthy.

originally published in Brainstorms (Little Episodes, 2011)

Daisy King grew up in London, and is currently doing an MSc in Social Neuroscience at UCL. She has been published in the award-wining Pi Magazine (UCL) and the print anthology Brainstorms (Little Episodes, 2011). She is very polite, mittens make her inexplicably happy, and she can pull off hats.