Insomnia Diary

1:28 am

I’ve taken Ambien every day this week. On Tuesday a quarter tab,

by Thursday, a half. My pillow bucks. Crows peck the skylight

& the moon’s a neon fog. My love breathes through his mouth—flaming a fire.

I close my eyes to the smoke but sparks remain.


1:46 am

My Ambien’s in a pill box purchased from the gift shop

at Frida Kahlo’s blue home. Frida lay in that bed with Diego

beneath pinned butterflies. I haunt my own tiled floors at night.

When the outside world murmurs, my heart revs its little engine—

addicted to adrenaline—if I slow my breathing

will it slow, tamping the brakes as it corners?


4:38 am

I worry the edges of night.

Tear the stitches along the seam &

there’s my ass. I’ve woken up in someone else’s

bad dream. Possibly mine.


4:07 am

Scene: I never sleep. The LA light so bright.

The sky lit in a ducky night light glow. Always awake

in my teeming house, the walls whistling.

Then a scarlet bird, like an omen. I don’t know what kind.


2:37 am

I hum like the dart & hover of bees in my lavender—

I hum like a car engine hums in idle

my heart hums, vibrating.

I count minutes, hours, each

breath, countries I’ve visited, men I’ve known.


3:51 am

I name fruits: apple, banana, cantaloupe, date, elderberry.

I name car parts: axle, brake, carbonator, dashboard.

Cities: Amsterdam, Beijing, Copenhagen, Dakar.

Countries: Zambia, Yemen, x, Wales, Vietnam, Uganda,

I pee, take a quarter Ambien. Tanzania, Sweden, Russia.


3:19 am

17th night awake. Sirens flare all night.

The Frida box beside the bed, pills pre-cut.

Lick my finger, a half Ambien sticks.

On my tongue, tin. I knot a poem

into a scarf, loop it around my throat.



A version of Insomnia’s Diary is in An Insomniac’s Slumber Party with Marilyn Monroe, out June 1st from PANK Books. (Order here). 

49 Orgasms, 15 Women

The orgasm that is like an escalating inwardness
having stopped throwing up after four days of sick,
which is like a Joy Division drum track.

Apocalypse Logic

Two boston-tilixam asked the people in line behind me, “Is this the line to get in?” When they heard that it was, they went to the front of the line.