REM Stage 6: A Poetry Blog || julie niklas


Sick Sleep
01/09/2010, 4:39 PM
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , ,

It’s good sleep. It’s honest-to-god real sleep where you don’t dream and feel like you’re falling every time you drift back into consciousness for a second or two and find yourself soaked in sweat like a rag dipped in lighter fluid and there’s a cold spot on your chest where the covers haven’t been melted to you yet and you can smell the salt coming off of you like you’re being fried in a Teflon pan. It’s the kind of sleep that’s too good to sleep through so you have to wake up every now and then to make sure you’re still alive, and each time you find a bubble of moisture around your body where the sickness has left and is burrowing into the cotton like a toxic gas and, but you don’t disturb it and burrow right into the covers yourself. It’s a comfortable sweat.
And there are clocks. They count the minutes that you’ve been sleeping in sweat and they don’t let you get too far away. They keep their green, long faces on you, watching to make sure you stay put. And when you wake up to look at the numbers you don’t know if they’ve been pressing you down into the sheets or just watching.
There’s always pressure in your gut. You think it might be from the clocks hands, and if you turned the lights on and looked, you’d see white marks, but you don’t, so you never know. It feels like you’re pressurized, like you’re a canned soft drink with the slightest hole in the top, fizzing from the inside out, and it’s only a matter of time before you run out of steam.
And when you get up, you have to take a moment to recollect yourself, look around the room in the darkness, searching for the clocks and the sweat and the soft drinks and you wonder if it was all real. You wonder if it was just a dream, or if you really made it through sick-sleep alive.

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Shades of Red
08/30/2009, 3:33 PM
Filed under: Poetry | Tags: , , , ,

Things are not how
they used to be. The pink
in your cheeks is prevalent like
a pulse, even when you sleep,
when the air is cool. You spend
your days tinted by the
light coming through your crimson
curtains, flare up like a star’s
corona, then recede to your
state of eclipse, darkened
by your own thoughts. You are
always a shade of red.