Various and Sundry Poetry

sleeplessness and love

1:30 a.m. and my lover is sleeping soundly
while I, twisting, needy, eyes tilting wildly open,
lie adjacent, tracing shapes in the darkness,
flexing my feet, and wondering if, on this coast,
the light will come any sooner.

And though I know tomorrow I will wilt too early,
begging for a nap at noon, perhaps, or a shorter walk,
or a second cup of coffee, and though I am ever-so-slightly
jealous of my lover, who can sleep past jetlag,
past the strange quiet of New England in late fall,
and who has managed to be lulled by the covers
of this unfamiliar bed, these foreign pillows.
Despite the disadvantage of lying awake
at this late and faulty hour,
I don't mind this sleeplessness.

Instead, I listen to the sound of breathing beside me,
the warm elixir I have come to love, a sound I measure
in slow and tender draughts. The air fibrillates with tiny,
somnolent hums, the darkness pausing around this rising body,
these easy, slumbering limbs, and all I can think about is
how beautiful this oxygen is, the caress it makes against my cheek,
against my fluttering eyelids, the curve of my left shoulder.

The night edges on, millimeter by millimeter, and yet
I would not mind if it lasted forever, this silence,
this generous reprieve,
this one beating promise after another.