He is afraid to fall asleep.
It seems there is something he forgot
That he really needs to do
But doesn’t know what it is.
It is something the morning won’t allow.
He feels that if he stays in the night, here, safe,
All would be quiet and calm
And there would be no confrontation.
He is afraid to face the noise, to face faces.
Every minute of sleep brings him closer to faces.
He is afraid to dream of memories that sting;
Those can ruin everything.
His wakefulness is running out.
So are the hours of night.
The sun will rise and demand an answer,
As if it has come to collect a debt.
“You don’t get to rest!” It says.
“You think you can evade the day?
Ha! Think again.”
He checks each room and its corners
Looking for some clarity of this internal warning.
When he reaches the second-floor bathroom,
There is a note upon the door: DO NOT ENTER.
He turns the knob to go in,
(After all, it’s his house he owns)
And finds his legs can no longer hold up his body.
He had just went to lay down, for a minute.
The baby, his son, was splashing in the bath.
There had been headlines soon after, screaming: Accidentally Drown.
Now, he balls his fists and pounds and pounds
On the never-been-used-since tub
Until he fractures his wrist.
His wife hears this,
Wonders if he’ll ever have self-forgiveness.
Calls the doctor again.
“Another episode, yes.”
And she is afraid to fall asleep.