The moon in the bureau mirror
looks out a million miles
(and perhaps with pride, at herself,
but she never, never smiles)
far and away beyond sleep, or
perhaps she’s a daytime sleeper.
By the Universe deserted,
she’d tell it to go to hell,
and she’d find a body of water,
or a mirror, on which to dwell.
So wrap up care in a cobweb
and drop it down the well
into that world inverted
where left is always right,
where the shadows are really the body,
where we stay awake all night,
where the heavens are shallow as the sea
is now deep, and you love me.
Insomnia is by one of my favorites, Elizabeth Bishop, and in keeping with the poem a month theme, seemed fitting for hot, humid, summery August, in which sleep has eluded me on several nights. The purpose of the poem a month project, by the way, is simply to read more poetry, because I find that now that I work in the sciences, I still read fiction, but I read very little verse, and I miss it. It adds a loveliness and thoughtfulness to life that is worth chasing after.