Let us sit on the floor together.
I’ll lift the words from a picture book,
make them into sound, push them toward your
head so your eyes and ears can argue
over them. This story has been said
to you to lessen your fear of sleep,
of turning from the shapes in your house
to the nebulous darkness without
design. Always, the urge to delay
sleep. It is so weird that the body
demands so much idleness, hours
with the eyelids pulled shut. Stories help,
especially those we’ve heard before.
They come from us, a chorus. We call
them back when we need them, memorize
their numbers and phonemes, the way they
like to leave us. This book belongs to
you, every day you forget it more.