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Insomnia

by Jenny Bitner

Not sleeping in a red room
not sleeping noise of traffic screeching by

not sleeping in the bed of a woman
I want to sleep with

not sleeping smelling pussy and bologna
on my fingers and lemon on my shirt

not sleeping and not reading and
not listening to music and not getting a phone call

not listening and seeing my past as far away
like a ship that has left port

not sleeping and scratching my waxy ear
not sleeping and dreaming of sleeping deeply

on velvet cushion and dreaming of bears
who will talk to women who still talk to women

although the repercussions are of course
enormous

not sleeping and not knowing
not sleeping and feeling the grit on my teeth

not sleeping and remembering piles of dog shit
I pick up with a plastic bread bag

not sleeping and wandering to bars to buy
a White Russian and smile at women

not sleeping and looking and thinking always
thinking not sleeping in my head

get out of my head     out of my head not
not sleeping     get out of my head


Jenny Bitner is our much-beloved, and now much-missed, retiring Poetry Editor. Her patience, inspiration, humor and ability will be fondly remembered. Jenny has been on the ATM staff for longer than many of us can even remember, and it won't be the same without her. Again, thanks for everything.

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