Unsleeping, 3:25 a.m.

by Timothy Liu


Whatever you do, don’t go
back to sleep. I know you spend
your waking hours making sure

everything’s in its proper place
even if you throw a tantrum
when you bump into a chair—

disorder brought into your home
where the furniture remains
the same but the room itself

is altered. Don’t go back to sleep:
I’ve waited all my life to cross
your threshold and wake you

from your slumber—your body
sealed under glass waiting for
an axe un-hewn by human hands—

and in that instant you finally
awake, I too feel the cleaving
go right through me, the future

stripped of its past in a place
I’ve never been but through
your eyes—so don’t go back to sleep.