Sleep On It

 Photo credit: Canva

Photo credit: Canva

I’ve come to perfect the harmony of
My own sleepy moan
And to appreciate
The last minutes of my warmth
Donated to rustled bed sheets.

I reintroduce myself to the world
A better me than the night prior
Gentler, softer, fresher,
Yet to be filled with caffeine.

This morning version of myself
(The “me” I strive to be at all hours)
Can look back at the girl
That I cared about more than myself,
Without anger and “you promised”
How happy we were, I’ll think.

I found comfort in her
Like the white knuckled turn
Of a door knob in the winter
The warmth inside my home
Embraced me; you next to me.

In the first hours I can see
A black Honda civic
For what it is: a car.

When the morning fades
So does my ease
For every time I see
Any small black car
I really see her and I
Leaning on her Honda at midnight
Down by Stroud’s run
She kicked the inside of my shoes

I now know she was falling
In love with someone else.

A lake is a mirror for the sky
And all my self reflections
That followed that night
Words about her, to her, for her,
With[out] her,
Bon Iver in Singapore
She said Holocene reminded her
Of a girl now far away
From our home in Athens, Ohio
I looked for her soft eyes
She’d smirk at me in recognition
Though she’d try and hide it

Any attempt at being calm and cool
I swiftly debunked in amusement
But not tonight, not for awhile,
Someway, baby, it's part of me, apart from me”
We wouldn’t speak for eight months.

Before I left for Singapore
I was filled with words
For there are so many ways to describe
The short name that occupies much
Of the volume of
My dense head.

The lake at Stroud’s
Reflected the sky which was a painting
A brilliant stroke of light:
A shooting star or lightning
I had yet to discern
For I had nothing to lose.

Her is just a word
Three letters and the shape
Of my hips, inferred.

Her is no longer just a word
When “Who are you more afraid of losing?”
Precedes that simple little word,

But many mornings later
Filled with geese down by the Hocking
And after the amusement
Of watching the steam dance
Over coffee
(my favorite flavor- awake)
I’ve realized I’m falling
Into myself
Breaking in my own skin,
A home to reside.

I smile when I notice
The sun kisses the leaves
All the same to me
Just as before she kissed mine.

I hope to have the clumsiness
Of a newborn puppy
(I am a true dog person at heart)
For I assume it is difficult
To watch your feet
When you’re too busy
Looking at the sky
With the amazement
As if for the first time.


Maddy Carlson (she/her/hers) is a Biology student at Ohio State.