Lines Written during a Period of Insomnia

Not a haunting, not a nightmare’s second life,
nor a question starving for its answer—instead,
a reasonless time and so much of it, where
my brain tiptoes on some brink: things to do,
but somehow never the impulse to begin.
A phone waits for numbers, a cup for washing,
a blank page for the pen. I’d give the moon
and all the night’s images for a bit of shut-eye,
for my mind to quit moving, let go of things,
stop wearing them thin.
A few stars above,
I stand on the lawn chain-smoking, debating
with the grazing deer. Against its nature, a doe
limps toward me on a luxated knee, curious
how I’m turning fire into fog. Her buck
spies at the roadside, inscrutable as a rock.
She dips her head, waiting—a silent language.
I kneel and extend my hand. They startle, show
what speed they have, slipping off into the dark.