Stay Up

by Renwick Berchild

They glare, the lanterns of the city, the rooftops lit with minds
that cannot sleep, with eyes

that will not close, and mine are along, the plung
of neuroticism; rest rises up and sudden there’s the tug. We’re
hot, a blade in need of pounding, the urge
to spin, lofty dreams, haggard visions, twisting
our teeth like screws. But the builders build. The makers make.

When constructing the house
one does not choose the tender bamboo, one does not measure
the forest timber; this is how
I slice my words.

Darkness is the heated knife that cuts the butter. I would not
ask the windows to draw their blinds. Should
people not struggle with the whine of the hours, the whorl
that throws the curtains –

shriek, it comes so swiftly, the crunching recollections
dogged. So let’s

stay up.

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