Kate Camp


The Insomniac Learns a Lot

Dark voices talk to her
about the most poisonous substance
known to man, about heirloom potatoes
and for an hour acute pain.
Next week: chronic pain.

All around her tiny green, red and orange lights
where things are in sleep mode and standby mode.
The house is a city full of traffic
needing to be told when to stop and go.

Underneath the covers her body is busy
and warm as an animal.
So many litres of sweat drain out of it
she might drown in her mattress
might lie in it like a tank
like a glass coffin.

All night the house ticks and clanks
like a cake cooling on a rack.
With its curtains drawn it is blind
and only two eyes open
only two doll’s eyes fighting open.

In the morning men come to break bottles
men come to cut, they leap from their truck
and mow down hundreds of daisies
that at night close up like fields of fists
because even flowers
know how to go to sleep.


Author’s Note


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