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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).