What Keeps Me Up
The wounded toes of ballerinas,
the violet shell of a grandson’s ear,
three small olives at rest
in their own green blood.
The dark trees along the horizon
scrawling a sentence I can’t understand.
Twelve useless elixirs
on my nightstand, bought
to heal my tension. My tension
so deep, so quivering deep, my muscles
wear me out, but won’t let me sleep.
A pneumatic drill down the valley
echoing like a brakeless train.
Malarial clouds from western fires
cindering the crops on the fruited plains.
Jets on the runway, blunt nosed and silver,
blind to the Afghans waving their arms.
The country of the homeless. Awake.
Wide awake. Eyes bright as nighttime cats.
Nowhere to sleep. Nowhere to sleep.
Lord, there’s nowhere to sleep
in the home of the brave.