Monday, July 14, 2008

bedtime story

It takes a battery of sleeping pills
sometimes warm milk
or herbal tea
before he’ll let both of us sleep

Tonight, he asked for a story
and I had nothing,
so I told him about me.

I told him that I used to live in a big house
in the country
with bright green shutters
and acres of possibilities.

I told him about long walks,
and dancing in the rain
and playing Frisbee with the homeless man
in the park on Main Street

I told him about backwards love songs
and piano keys worn smooth
and rooftop stargazing
caffeine induced poetry
and never sleeping

And finally he drifted off

but I couldn’t stop the memories
so I kept speaking
I told him about the silly promises
people make to each other
and about his father
and the pawn shop in the city
where you trade in dreams for security
and money to feed your family

I told him about chain-smoking on badly lit streets
and the best ways to avoid responsibility
and how it never works out the way it’s supposed to
but you have to keep plugging away
because the alternatives are just as shitty

I told him that one day
I’d quit my job
and just write for a living
and we’d have everything we need
but I’m glad he was sleeping
because I don’t see that ever happening.

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