Thomas Gillaspy   © 2014 All Rights Reserved

The Uppermost Affliction

Before weary, which spends the spirit,
and drowsy, a drunk

who comes and goes,
before tired and before fatigue, sleepy

is the uppermost affliction.
It unfurls a flytrap with warm wax
up its sleeve—

suspending ambitions like bulbs
set flickering in the Pyrenees.

The blur exults in the loss of the linear;
it reveals that the bed points

each soft corner south, where, yea,
though you walk
through the volley of bees,

you’ve gone low-voltage, stumbling
errant across centuries, through

landscapes of sheep and poppy seeds
that dim the vision, till your own name

swells with mystery. At the desk
you lean, a dethroned icon
of wide-awake, body

weak as a sheet of paper,
nodding head the paperweight.

Sarah Sloat
Copyright © 2014  

Sarah J. Sloat grew up in New Jersey and now lives in Germany, where she works in news. Sarah’s poems have appeared in Linebreak, Parcel, and Court Green. Her chapbook Inksuite is available from Dancing Girl Press, and another, Homebodies, was published in 2012 by Hyacinth Girl Press.

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