I try, as a parent, to be sympathetic to the moments when my children are doing the opposite of what I would like them to (in this case, sleep).
I am just starting to read Myung Mi Kim and what exhilaration I feel at the presence of her words. Words can so easily become transactional—we have so much to convey!—that it’s tonic to come across them fluttering in their strangeness, rapt in their individual histories; gone feral, as it were.
She passes through episodes of sleep,
of learning to dream and know her dream
as dream: our companion distortion, soul visitation
in the quiet, terrifying house; hallway, terrifying—
adults dead sleeping—numb world and your mind
under none’s control: so sleep through it
as a sledge through the mind’s snow.
And arrive in the morning, having crossed that keen gulf
on a bridge of your own hair—daughter, now you carry
your own sheaf of dreams to tell,
unafraid to winnow a meaning, knowing
how dream relates to hallways, adults,
dead, and the world, fathoming
the zero that holds your dream to the real thing.
Lightsey Darst lives and works in Durham, North Carolina. She has published three books of poetry with Coffee House Press, most recently Thousands (2017). She has received fellowships from the NEA and the Minnesota State Arts Board. She is trying to grow a meadow.
Lightsey's Book Recommendations
For fidelity, I am currently being stunned by Rebecca Solnit's Recollections of My Nonexistence and Mieko Kawakami's Breasts and Eggs.