Caffeine➝ insomnia (a poem)

I should not have had that last coffee yesterday…

I put on the mask
lay my head on the pillow
and over the next twenty minutes
my mind goes everywhere

the library I went to with my mom
when I was a kid…the elevator I rode
a few weeks ago with someone I knew
but did not recognize because it had
been almost twenty years since we
last met…me in my bedroom reading
bad poems I’d just written to the girl
who would become my wife in another
lifetime twenty three years and 40,000
miles in the future…every round trip
between my home and the home I
would leave…thinking about what
I might say to the group of people I
hope to soon be meeting for the very
first time…trying to remember the
names of people I see on a regular
basis but do not know very well…
wondering why my breathing has
not slowed even though I have been
in bed now for, what, half an hour…
thinking about people who haven’t
died yet…what if I had kept going
instead of giving up that first time…

I turn
back—forth—reverse—repeat
Sleep is not coming this time
not where my mind is going

I abandon the elaborate scenarios
and fantasies my mind constructs
They are unnecessary
as long as others are willing
to perform theirs for me
until I grow tired
and submit to the night

(13 December 2016)

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