atresia – noun: 1. absence or closure of a natural passage of the body 2. absence or disappearance of an anatomical part by degeneration.
To Fall Asleep
Every night I play this game
A habit now, a secret shame
Multi-tasking cartoon shows
Or re-runs burned out long ago
While refreshing games of solitaire
Win or lose I never care
I tell myself to fall asleep
Knowing I avoid REM deep where
I’m taken to the terrifying nightmare
The moment of ecstasy and desperate despair
When you still loved me
Would delight in my jealousy
Before the tearing
Before the discarding
As I grow weary
My red eyes go bleary
I wish for atresia
Through lack of sleep to amnesia
Every nocturnal, natural passage binding
Me to you degenerating, closing
Letting me sleep in peace.
I found a spark of inspiration this morning while reading “Love Is Like Sounds” from The Selected Poems of Donald Hall (Poet Laureate of the United States, 2006 – 2007).