Sleep doesn’t come when I call anymore.
Maybe I’ll rub the tired from my eyes,
And write another thousand words before the sun rises.
I’ll let myself lose a dozen hours in a back-lit screen.
Just because it feels meaningful when compared with the alternative:
Lying in the cloying silence,
Inventing patterns on the off-white ceiling.
There is no heartbreak this time,
No creeping anxiety that drags at the back of my mind.
The weight of the cosmos is no heavier than it ever is.
Nothing to fix, nothing to blame.
These words may be the only meaning I ever find in it,
And even they won’t come easy.
“Another all-nighter?” he asks,
And I return his well-intentioned smile.
I’ll pretend every waking hour had been my decision
So I can wear the dark circles under my eyes like some badge of honor,
As though my bone-deep exhaustion was a marker of academic fortitude.
But there is no significance or triumph in the reality
That rest has become some unruly beast,
And sleep doesn’t come when I call anymore.