The Unborn

Turning out lights and turning back covers,
Slipping between sheets, but my heart
Won’t rest, won’t be at ease.
Too much to say, too many possibilities
Too many things not done or not yet started
Too many stories that could be told.

I feel them around me, in my room
Curled here and there,
Disposed across the floor and shelves
Bright eyes on me, feline-inscrutable,
Waiting for me to give them life.

Not now; please not now.
It’s night, can’t you see?
How can I look at you now?

They wait in the quiet darkness, not demanding
But their presence is still a kind of insistence:
Either give us life in whole,
Or we shadows will stay here with you, forever
Pale as ghosts, powerless as the unborn
We need you. We need you to give us life.

I need to sleep. I need
I have tomorrow to deal with, I have work
I have expectations, I have my own problems
Can’t you see that?
What am I supposed to do?
There’s so little time already
Little for me, little for you.

We will give you time.
We will take you outside of time,
Out to where time doesn’t matter.
Where it is not in control.

I know. I know you can.
But you deserve better than me.
I don’t know how to serve you.
I don’t know if I have the words.

We will teach you the words.
We are here to help you, too.

Are you sure there isn’t someone else?
Someone better?

They have their own. We are yours.

Yes, you are mine.

Darkness and stillness
Comes, wrapping sleep
Over the breathing and the
Not-breathing, the shadows
Of the unborn, the stories,
The songs, the words
Not yet written, waiting
For their time, waiting
For my words
To give them life.


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