Notes from Sleep

Sometimes in the middle of the night
I’m not sure if I’m awake or asleep.

In the yard
in the dark,
I feel myself growing energized—
This is a recurring dream.
I know what’s coming.

I stand in the middle of the yard,
raise my arms above my head,
bend my knees slightly,
and ever so gently push myself
off the earth.

That’s it.


I can travel miles and miles up
just by looking in the direction I want to go.

I can head straight for the ground
at great speed with complete nonchalance.

I can fly between the close branches,
or I can wheel, and tumble, and run
across the firmament.

I never come down.
I just wake,
or think I do,
and for a moment
believe what just occurred.


The neighbor’s music
grows louder and louder
so I fly higher and higher.

The jewelweed embedded in
the ground so tenderly
allows me to glide above it
and watch it grow.

Sometimes I sit by the window
and watch it multiply, spread,

five or six feet tall—
jewelweed covering the yard.


I should keep these experiences
buried in my heart,
away, even, from you,
but it’s impossible.

Go ahead.

You tell me
how I should
be quiet about it.


Night of gypsy moths,
of heat,
and I utter,
I will never tell a soul.


I rise from my chair
by the window,
turn and gaze at myself
in bed
to see if I’m awake or asleep.