Jenny Factor is the author of Unraveling at the Name (Copper Canyon Press, 2002). She teaches at Antioch University in Los Angeles where she also lives.
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Battle of Will & Exhaustion, Mother & Child
Two knights surrounded by dinosaurs are cornered in the kitchen--all threat and bluster. Action figures always act even as night tries to soothe them under. I am the one who laid a nervous hand on a child's exhausted threat and bluster. The bunk bed creaks as the story settles, as night's cool hand tries to soothe us. Under a Seussian drone I am thinking, anxious, about someone with a nervous hand. Will he sleep? Will he sleep? When will he sleep? The bunk bed creaks as the shipboard settles. What is the myth of a woman alone who's thinking through Seuss? Her thoughts are drones serving a terrible queen of their own. Can she sleep? Will she sleep? When will she sleep? The toilet's crystalline drip and the ghosts of the walls are a myth. And this woman, alone, is a captain steering too close to the rocks where the ocean is serving a terrible queen. Up on the cliff of a Friday midnight the toilet's crystalline drip and the ghost- ly snore of the sleepy one riding his dragons can steer this sad captain away from her rocks. "Rock me to sleep," cries the wild girl at twenty up on the cliff with a young man at midnight. Far below, waves from the sea of Alaska snore back and forth filled with moon's breath and dragon. Up on the cliff of a Friday's midnight, rock me to sleep with the sound that the fridge makes. Warmth of a tub, hole of a drain. Memories sleep in the seas of Alaska. Action figures always act upon the cliff of a Friday's midnight. Warmth of a bird's heart. Chill of a stone. Two knights surrendered. The dinos snore.