Thirty-Two Nocturnes

Bleach bites my nose, fugitives me from my bankrupted
sleep. I do not recall my dreams, only slithering charcoal.
The walls seem to bend, become a toothless mouth,
gumming my unleavened body. I am yeast that cannot rise,

belly a black hole, mind struggling to break glass, bird
a breath of unfiltered air. Outside, the sodium street light
halves my beige curtains, knifes the shadows in my white
room jaundice. A nightingale enters on scrubbed feet, hands

like warm, browned butter. I yearn to slumber her long
black hair, daughter my face into the mother of her neck,
feel Morpheus safe. Instead, she crows me awake, dolls me
like a cursed princess, enthrones my blue body in half-life.

I count the spokes of time when my doctor’s beak mask
glides in. His leeches cannot blood me of this 4 AM fever.