The people are sleeping,
And I watch them, sighing
Like a forgotten lover.
They do not cry, so I weep for them.
They do not laugh, so I paint smiles on their faces.
My work is clumsy—now they look like clowns.
So comfortable, they do not even shift,
And my skull pounds with envy.
How are they so restful, when I cannot stop writhing?
What peaceful dreams they must be having, I consider.
But then I pity their tranquility.
Who will remember them if they keep so still?
I whisper into their ears behind cupped hands,
Do not worry. You will not be forgotten. Not by me.
I do not forget well.
I remember too much, in fact:
I can still feel the texture of his sweater on my skin,
From the days when he would hold me close, and tell me I was his.
Like a curse, the memory lingers,
The way good things always do, especially when
You would like not to remember them.
But I would like to remember you,
You sweet sleepers, so lovely,
Not moving even an eyelash.
I will watch the sleeping people forever,
An empty sort of longing pulsing in my breast,
Wanting them, craving them,
Just to have them, and to
Feel them underneath my fingertips.
I can smell them on the air, the way I can still smell his breath in my face.
I can taste them when I lean close, taste their nearness on my tongue,
Taste their gentle relaxation like cheap wine,
So I become lightheaded in their proximity, and
Lose touch with reality.
I would love to stay here forever,
To never leave them,
To watch over these sleeping people like their surrogate mother,
Protect their blissful dreams,
And go mad with the desire and inability to join them.
So I will sit here, and wait patiently as usual
For one of them to wake and greet me, and
Realize I was right.
But if none of them is to rise, I shall continue to wait anyway,
Futilely, happily,
Until the day that I can fall asleep with them,
Or watch them die within their ignorance.