Daytime Sleeper

Skin peeled from my eyes at 6:22 am,

eight minutes before my alarm would ring, I stole

the joy from disrupting my

swollen, rushed dreams that only had four hours

to project on my eyelids. A ghost hangs over

my bed, a figure barely revealed in my distorted vision staring

into the ceiling. He catches the cloudy light that

snuck through my lazy curtains. He drifts, watches

Does he know I’m awake?


How many nights have a slept in his gaze? His shallow face,

emotionless. A swamp sinks his eyes, a nose as jagged as

a child’s first try with scissors, his profile cut

by unfortunate amateurs. My memories of his face formed

without detail in the careful moments lost

between the sleepy thoughts and wondering if

the metronome inside my chest will give away my wakeful state.


Eight minutes of gazing between

the spirit’s eyes and my own. the question still rings

Does he know I’m awake?

I blink to make rain of

the clouds in my view, curious to see

if the guest is permanent.

–or maybe I am the impermanent visitor, drifting in and out

living by day and asleep when I come.


I can’t help but shift beneath

the soft purple of sleep,

covered in goose feathers, surrounded by trees

killed long ago, and sliced into planks,

nailed into place long before the world’s wars.

Doe he know I’m awake?


Drums beat in my ears as my phone

tries to catch me in the act of dreams,

but I am too quick for it. Brightness’s

blindness steals my gaze.

I rub my pupils across my eyelids,

fingertips. An alien bulge slowly sweeps under them.

When I open my eyes, I am alone,

He knows I’m awake.


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