Issue 27 poetry

Insomnia, A Ghazal

by Jessica Dubey

Sometimes a Fireplace is an Envelope by Rebecca Pyle
Sometimes a Fireplace is an Envelope by Rebecca Pyle

There is no easy way to kill the weeds, only neurotoxins
to clear the brambles and invasive species that interrupt my sleep.

I dress for bed in star-spangled nightgown and matching spurs,
ready to ride roughshod through the five plains of sleep.

Side effects may include unraveling of thread count,
sudden blackout shades, lavender-scented sleeplessness.

My mother’s ring and a dowry of one hundred sheep
for the hypothetical marriage where I am wedded to sleep.

Limb numb and punch-drunk, I speed toward the barn, kill
that rooster, almost hit the hay, but have yet to fall asleep.

A clap of thunder obliterates the whale song of delta waves;
I rise to the surface spitting up sleep.

The mouthguard custom made for Jess turns to stardust
under pressure, scatters over the ebony territories of sleep.

Jessica Dubey is a poet living in upstate New York. She was a 2018 nominee for a Best of the Net Award and was Kissing Dynamite’s September 2019 featured poet. Her work has appeared in numerous journals including Oxidant | Engine, Barren Magazine, The American Journal of Poetry, and IthacaLit.

Rebecca Pyle’s artwork appears in Hawai’i Review, Tayo Magazine, New England Review, The Menteur, Alexandria Quarterly, The HitchLit Review, JuxtaProse, Oxford Magazine, and in many other journals and reviews, sometimes on their covers. She’s a published writer, too, of poetry, essays, fiction. Rebecca lives now in Utah.