Sleep Deprivation

Four hours of sleep,
five days in a row.

Five minutes to think
between fatigued stupidities,
and still they spill 
out of my mouth
as if carried on 
a swift stream that cuts
through without stopping;

such a splash each one makes.

Three hours of sleep,
ten days in a row, and

I don’t even know 
the current name of the country
I live in.  Trying
to put my finger on how else
it has changed, I drop
another clumsy chunk
off my lips into water
everyone has to drink. 

I’m trying to figure it out
even as I make it worse.

Apologize and then say no,
it’s not that, no,
it’s not that, no,
it’s not that.  

I am not afraid of
offending, only of offending 
by not being clear.  

Two hours of sleep,
ten weeks in a row;
two hours of sleep
ten months, ten years,
for a few decades now;

this place I’ve always called
America, to be honest,
is only comfortable now

for those who get 
all the sleep they are allowed

with no alarms to wake them
and no lumps in the bed 
and no noises to rouse them
into night terrors.

As for me?
One rotten hour a night
hundreds and hundreds
of years in a row;

I can’t tell you 
who I am.

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About Tony Brown

A poet with a history in slam, lots of publications; my personal poetry and a little bit of daily life and opinions. Read the page called "About..." for the details. View all posts by Tony Brown

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