the sleep of Reason

by Abby Smoker

                                               inspired by Francisco Goya’s The Sleep of Reason
                                               Produces Monsters (1799)

it’s 3am and darling, i am slumped
at your desk,
my sleepy fingers dipped in ink
which now puddles with my hair
and stickies its strands.
outside your window is obsidian wall
yet somehow owls keep breaking in
they are multiplying, piling up
behind my head, on your dresser,
dropping feathers in my hair
and cluttering your floor
with droppings.
gazing out
from the red digits of the alarm clock
you make eye contact with
those bats
which will also be gone by morning, i swear.
they just needed out
from that flesh-lit, brooding chamber
behind my eyes; i needed free
from their convulsions.
i’ll cage them when i awake, i promise
unless you bring home a shotgun––then
we’ll put them down ourselves, one by one.


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