ARNICA / ABSOLUTION / AMBIEN
No mortal ever learns to go to sleep definitively. No baby, animal or vegetable, intends to sink his vehicle in so soundless a lake. In such cloudy houses, shadows take the shape of something "put to sleep." Any oblivion is a field or maze a creature grazes in for private reasons. The edible flower taken from its bed to the table expires on your tongue, and this is what we mean by sense of night and utterly internal to itself. To go to sleep, I think of the bodies in their reservoirs, painstakingly changing from opaque to phosphorescent. How all the while distracted Nature pours a perfect solvent on their experiment. I take a half-pill, a paradigm ignites, a moving sign in rain. I take a whole, the flame grows lower. One and a quarter, it’s just a flicker. No sense asking who I am then. Swinging from its dead twig in a bush, the aura-like cocoon, lit up by winter sun— the least of its worries the worm.
First published in Columbia. Copyright © 2004 Miranda Field. Used with permission of the author.