October 22, 2017

Margot in the country of sleep

by Katie Schmid

Margot you are sleeping and I haven’t got much time
I mean, we haven’t, because you don’t sleep very much
and when you do you fight it and almost seem to rise out
of it like a skiff jumping tumult from wave to wave,
you are that little boat and unconsciousness pulls at you
and you resist. This is maybe going to come out a little
O’Hara, Margot because I have been reading O’Hara to
myself and to you, Margot, as the sun comes in the dining
room windows and their gauzy curtains, as the moonmilk
saturates our nights where we are wild and moist and awake.
I am making it sound so easy, Margot, but it’s not! Nothing
about this is easy, Margot, your body is too tiny and doesn’t
know how to be, and we are fierce when we are each other’s
animal, sleep drunk, milk drunk, we mark each other with our
milk we say you are mine; no you are; you ARE mine; mine
mine mine we cry together in the hot June night, but our cries
are foreign to all but us, miniscule bugs razoring away to one
another: the grief is that we are parted forever, Margot, I keep
saying your name because it is an incantation against time, though
you are time itself—no one can deny how the future coils inside
of you like a hairless mouse, nascent chaos, makes you discontent.
Margot, wake! It has been two hours since you yawned your
milksweet mouth and sneezed on my nipple. You have gone now
into the country of sleep, where I can’t follow.


Katie Schmid‘s poetry and essays have been published in The Rumpus, Quarterly West, Best New Poets and Sycamore Review, among other places. Her chapbook, “Forget Me, Hit Me, Let Me Drink Great Quantities of Clear, Evil Liquor,” is available from Split Lip Press. www.katieschmid.net.