A poem by Nicholas Laughlin
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,