Tim Sackton CC
Plunk, Plunk, Plunk
Sleep as long as you like. Child, whose head is nightly kissed, whose arms are hemmed in blankets. The newborn scent of milk and nipples, pink gums still there. This is a song for you, a melody of ordinary life. The dishes put away, the table wiped clean, muffled sounds of kitchen conversation. Green grapes in a bowl. Your mother and father in another room. Your nana, your grandfather, you aunt too. Sleep now in the red velvet nightgown, the one that came with a matching cap, which you wear as a bonnet with your everyday clothes. You’re a lady. You’re a little girl. You’re a racecar. You’re a cat with sugar-tipped paws. Sleep now, with the salty effervescence still on your tongue from when your grandfather dropped the roasted peanuts one by one into a glass of ginger ale. Plunk, plunk, plunk. It is Christmas and there are presents under the tree, bright papers and curls of red ribbon. Candles on the table. A dish of star mints, neatly twisted. Out the window you know the bark and lichen, the stones by the patio. A field of tender bridges. In the morning, you know the birds will call to each other in the trees. The same stubborn calls over and over.
Your Brain Can Stop Now
Dream that you are sleeping. A dream of the big sleep. Tended bones bedded in the earth, arms placed in parade rest, or you could be a dime show mummy, leathered and slowly shrinking behind the glass, traveling to each little western town. Maybe you were buried by a windstorm in the desert when your engine stopped. Red sands filling all your holes. The weather conditions were perfect for preserving, so your body persevered. Your serene eyelids. Your quiet mouth, the tongue still inside. Your good teeth, still just as good. The flaps of your ears. The bills in your wallet. Or imagine that you are resting at the end of yoga class. Shavasana. Corpse pose, a little death practice. Practice the perfect stillness, practice the dream of your life closing up like a mollusk. Your brain can stop now and relax into stupidity. Brake the breath. Imagine your heart petering out. Your body sinking down into its old mother, down through the tissue of her body, down through the woven belts of earth. Your old gaze emptying beneath the trees. The broken spectrophotometer of your eyes no long capturing, measuring, identifying colors. Good practice for what will surely come, the body returning to what it always was. An oath of rain and root and fern and food.
Lydia Gwyn's stories, poems, and essays have appeared or are forthcoming in F(r)iction, The Florida Review, New World Writing Quarterly, Poetry Salzburg Review, and others. She is the author of the flash fiction collections You'll Never Find Another (2021, Matter Press) and Tiny Doors (2018, Another New Calligraphy). She lives with her family in East Tennessee.
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.