It is the baby, Jarret, trying to fall asleep
switching and rolling from position
to position, pinching and tweaking both
my flesh and his in a delirium of doubt,
belonging, difference. It eats.
He wrestles
with the sleep that is stealing into him,
he sees it and fears it, a serpent at night,
gleaming, as real as foreclosure,
as dreadful as death. He curses
and yowls in a language between
himself and waking, and I lie there
pretending to be asleep.
He hurls
at me, his covers, his bed, his fate; I keep
hoping he will just fall asleep.

When he does
it is a breaching of giant walls, castles fall
into the sea; he is a whale split with axes
beneath Arctic skies, the village rejoicing
they are saved from starvation.

I am drawn irresistibly with him—
photons of play drifting into gravity.
The small, weak force will always
subdue the strong and powerful urge
to procreate. My wife waits and falls
asleep.

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