Sleep: An Update
by Alexandra van de Kamp

The body jackknifes—buckles like a dark
road and each thought unfolds: a relaxing
piece of crumpled foil. The trees are fastidious
detectives late for a luncheon and checking
their pocket watches. It rains for the umpteenth
time, like an aristocrat lounging on
an heirloom couch. Looming things can kick
and scratch. Last night my writing desk—
tucked away on an attic floor—fell through
the wooden slats and landed at my dumb toes.
Thunder blooms like orchids in a black and white
photograph and morphs into the shapes
of fashionable shoes. That last clap was a lady’s
laced-up boot, circa 1930. I want to say chandelier
just for the muscular lilt of it, just for the
museum rooms and soap operas of it. Teeth
dream their way through the language
they are forced to chew, but isn’t Italian
an ensemble of hills and sautéed truffles? Cymbals
crash all over the cottage roof and dirt flecks
the opaque covers on the soft bed.

 

Published in Cider Press Review, Volume 15, Issue 3.

Alexandra van de Kamp lives in Stony Brook, NY, with her husband and is a lecturer at Stony Brook University, teaching academic English to foreign students. Her first full-length collection of poems, The Park of Upside-Down Chairs, was published by CW Books (WordTech Press, 2010), and her most recent chapbook, Dear Jean Seberg (2011), won the 2010 Burnside Review Chapbook Contest. Recent poems have been featured on VerseDaily.

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