I wrapped the clouded night sky around me to hide the moonflowers growing from my stomach up my throat. Their elegant chalices choked me, making it impossible to speak or make sense of things I used to know.

They were no longer thirsty after last night’s rain but curious about the moths.

When I grew too warm, I shaped the sky into a hammock and listened for trains carrying cargo from one city to the next.

Unable to rest, I struggled to remember a defunct lullaby from my father’s breath.

I had become a voyeur of late, but the old woman across the street did not remember me when I waved to her from the bed of tall grass. She had vacated the world of menus and bills but smiled at me behind her teeth.

Her eyes, like my beloved’s, deep and lost somewhere beyond the surface of things. She crocheted lace, sang in Italian, and could not sleep.

The boys next door had outgrown the basketball hoop this summer and prayed for the attention of the girl down the street. The couple next door had just put their baby to sleep.

So many dandelions in the overgrown grass, I could not possibly sleep. Where was that tool I used last night to pull them from their sockets? Rusted, I’m sure, from too many downpours.

I had taken shelter under this year’s version of the apple tree. Perhaps the gardening tool was there under the picnic bench or by the dog’s fence, the baby’s breath. I don’t know.

The moonflowers were growing at a rate I envied. I had slept all day, too tired from the night and faraway traffic. So much moving, while I stood practically in place, snapping the dead branches from the butterfly bush and hydrangeas.

I gathered night again and wrapped it around me; the moonflowers growing through my hair that in last night’s rain had become a river rushing underneath the apple tree.

The boys next door were dreaming of the girl down the street, her long hair. The old woman sang a defunct lullaby in Italian.

My beloved lives on a star. Come down and hold me with the sky, I wanted the moonflowers to tell him, but he, too, could not speak from where he was dreaming.



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  1. Myke Todd says:

    I have never been able to discern the difference between a freight train and a passenger train; due in great part, I imagine, to never having ridden on a passenger train.

  2. Krysia Jopek says:

    I just reread the poem. The cargo trains sound bumpier than cargo trains that sound more sleek. . .

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