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Poet's Name Cynthia Trenshaw
Recent research says that
while we sleep
our brain cells shrink,
making room to let
the sap they swim in
wash away the toxins of the day.
Tonight I crawl between the sheets,
pull the covers up and
nuzzle in my pillow
balancing my brain like laundry baskets
filled with scraps of images and urges
soiled in hours among the wakeful:
memories splotched with joy or stained with bitterness,
intentions frayed around the edges,
well-worn thoughts and barely-used ideas,
pockets linted with exhaustion.
I sigh, curl arms and legs more fetally,
sink deeper in the laundry room of sleep,
begin to separate the braincell
undies from the jeans and cleaning rags,
whites apart from smudging colors,
mental fragiles sorted by themselves
in piles along the edges of my brain.
Then, when I let go to deepest sleep,
cerebral fluids start to slosh,
enigmatic, automatic, silent.
I’d never know that anything had happened
in the Laundromat of Night,
except that when I wake I find
fresh dreams hung out to dry,
or left untethered, scattering
across the dawn.
[first published in Maine Review, Fall 2015]
Poet's Name Gary Valet
carry me over the medieval path
leading to another church, castle,
or prince bishop’s quarters.
My feet curl around
what, in a previous lifetime,
lived In the belly of a ship
providing ballast that kept the course
true and upright
the well of gravity
holding fast to the cobbled core.
Upon arriving at the destination,
having transported the substance of desire
the belly having fulfilled its task
the cobbles are moved to a resting place
until their appointed placement
A stone well laid offers transit
for many generations
suspended above eroding dirt
embedded in sand they withstand
erosion by hoof or wheel or foot.
they bear the burden of commerce
with nary a squeak .
unending layers of asphalt
or stand a little rock on its head
and become the geologic way.