He used to say it was his favourite thing ever
to study me sleeping, in that break of 8 a.m., early R.E.M.
This was the timeline when I stayed twitching
restless till 5 a.m., crawling into bed only at first light.
This was when I licked blue sleeping pills & read
mythology under a halogen lamp so that
my dreams would carry the messages of prophets.

He used to say that when I slept, the worry left my face.
That this was the only time there was no anxiety.
He loved me the most, then.
I half remember his body curling around me - he’d whisper
I’d hear the alarm and answer back
in foreign tongues…

I am already forgetting what he used to say to me.
My reflection in the windows of the subway train, tense posture.
He would weep at the sight of this hardness.
I stay up even later now, East Coast Time
& I don’t want to forget that there was once a man
who saw something soft in my face.