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A poem by Nicholas Laughlin

Published in The Strange Years of My Life
and previously in Almost Island, Winter 2011


Mercy on My Small Husband

Mercy on my small husband.
When he sleeps bare five hours a night
wrapped in paper like an accident,
like an insect itching serifs inside an envelope.
He sleeps knowing I am nowhere near.
He sleeps near I know not where.
My small husband is an impossible sleeper.

Sleep is not impossible.
I cough and scrabble my blanket of fur,
my bed of cold white zinc.
And above me is all the clean glass air, safe from echoes.
Unmercied, I am bound in my own veins.
I keep my watch like a leftover promise,
staring at Orion’s crotch,
at the stumbling of the blind bull.
No one will surprise my small husband,
not me.

• • •

Read more poems by Nicholas Laughlin