My Sleep God

by Shreeda

Every night I listen for that rap on the door.
Even my dog seems no longer a guardian more faithful than my will.
My limbs are heavy with temptation, nose damp with neglect,
and neck exposed.

He knocks only when my curtains are drawn tight against my bare skin,
making it safe for him to enter that placid pool in the far depths of my mind’s eye.
He bathes in it, standing knee deep in that water like a white horse,
or a swan whose wings are finally tucked in, after a long day of battle and barter.

I sit behind the curtain, awaiting the transmission between my ego and his demon.
He tells me I cannot look, I cannot listen to him bathe, that I must trust my third and fourth eyes,
(or else he will not kiss me that night).

I wonder if he knows that I feel his skin, the washing of suds and water slipping off, underneath my own. (I take my shirt off before going to bed.)
I feel his nakedness as mine. I crave his thin and buttery fingertips,
feel his crane graze my navel, and long strands of hair tie knots around my limbs.

When I am no longer looking with the goosebumps on my skin,
he pulls me into him.
He shoves my head into that purple pool of twilight and moondust, glittered with heavyweight scales.
My oppression feels the same as the hearts of overcome mermaids.

He fits us into that underwater elevator which takes only our bodies, raw,
and not even the air in our lungs.
My heartbeat, my breath move per his likeness.
My hair sways more freely in that water (than any other I know.)

I try to dive without resistance,
into that cenote of sacrificial fatigue,
Like the many mermaids of me, before me,
As we pass sublingually beneath his hands,
As he kisses our wounds, again and again.

I am defragmented, into a shuffled rolodex,
The me of twilight, the me of octopus ink,
And the water settles me,
Like the tea leaves at the bottom of a cup,
Like the sieve which sorts through debris,
Like the needle which makes fishnets from disorder,
And the probe which pulls objects from the dark.

Suddenly and somewhere, eventually, I am released,
My body rebubbles, fins afloat on the shore of wakefulness.
My mental fascia are relieved from their prolonged duty,
as the connective tissue of consciousness.

Somehow it is me, still me.
The sleep god has taken care of all my bartering,
And the water is clearer today.