Insomniacs and Tricksters
by Andrew Morris


All through the night, we read Baudelaire
with blood on our hands.

You thought the canned soup a necessity.

You fumble with the Swiss Army Knife.

Your movements are exquisitely slow and dangerous

after all that Manischewitz.

Our minds grow dull.

Nighthawks wobble their way through the sky.

Your stomach growls

a brief homage to our luke-warm supper.

We ease into our Crazy Creek seats.

Our quiet talk resounds through the canyons.

A few yards away coyotes circle and sit;

they glare at us.

They tremble.

Maybe they’re laughing at us.

We continue reading, everything that is groaning,

everything that is rolling, everything that is singing.

If only we could shutter our brains and sleep,

maybe Baudelaire would be tending the fire in the morning

with a small stick.

Maybe those coyotes are shape shifters, up to no good,

planning to bury us down in the wash with only our privates showing.

All night they haunt us,

eroding our drowsy restraint,

dragging away the moral boundaries,

loosening up the proprieties.

Rather than battle the ongoing deprivations,

we keep on reading.

The world will not wane.

Trapped in that endless night,

we break every taboo with impunity.

We do everything before the light finds us.


Jackie Rhoadesshapeimage_7_link_0