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Prayer for Sleep

Cheryl Dumesnil
The chiropractor sent me home
     with my left ankle taped, my neck
          cracked, and instructions not to sleep

on my belly, so when it came time
     for bed, I dropped a tequila shot,
          laid back and closed my lids, entrails

exposed to vultures of bad dreams.
     From the neighboring pillow,
          my love whispered theories

of meditation, biofeedback, post-
     traumatic stress, and prayer. When
          she asked, "If a divine creator

made the universe, who made
     the divine creator?" I mumbled,
          "Are you trying to talk me to sleep?"

She smiled, then babbled
     past midnight, contemplating out loud
          the metaphysics of leaf production,

the wonder of molecules
     that make up our bed, the web
          of my cell structure connected

to hers, until I fell asleep,
     imagining the mitochondria
          of words, thinking, if god is

love, let me sleep to this sound of her voice.

From In Praise of Falling by Cheryl Dumesnil. Copyright © 2010 by Cheryl Dumesnil. Used by permission of University of Pittsburg Press. All rights reserved.

From In Praise of Falling by Cheryl Dumesnil. Copyright © 2010 by Cheryl Dumesnil. Used by permission of University of Pittsburg Press. All rights reserved.

Cheryl Dumesnil