Celisa Steele

To sleep, you have to forget,
each night letting go
the grapes, the milk, the gin,
mouthwash and bread until the whole
grocery list unstitches. Then the news of wars
and the color of your hair, your daughter’s
age and red rain boots. Metronome,
mendicant, cruet, then every word
you’ve known. Even your name.

Everything you forget
lines the path to sleep —
breadcrumbs of unknowing
marking nameless streets.

As you wake,
retrace your steps,
relearn any fact
or wish you find
left untouched
by night’s ravenous birds.

Issue 9, 2017. pg. 17