Sleeping Beauty’s Insomniac Twin
an homage to Haruki Murakami’s After Dark
I thought you might recognize me
without the dress and haircut.
Black eyeglasses and a thick book
are enough to dissuade most of the nightcrawlers,
the men looking for a good time and easy lay.
If you come with me, you’ll cower at the mafia men
at midnight, pimps and broken prostitutes wrapped in sheets.
We’ll narrowly miss being hit by a car.
The late night coffee shops croon their old, seedy jazz tunes.
Come with me, through the open mouth of the city,
where we will rescue the other half of our souls.
If you fall asleep, you’ll miss what’s right in front of you.
Jeannine Hall Gailey is the Poet Laureate of Redmond, Washington, and the author of Becoming the Villainess (Steel Toe Books, 2006) and She Returns to the Floating World (Kitsune Books, 2011) which was an Eric Hoffer Montaigne Medal finalist in 2012. Her work has been featured on NPR’s The Writer’s Almanac, Verse Daily, and in The Year’s Best Fantasy and Horror. Her poems have appeared in journals such as The Iowa Review, American Poetry Review and Prairie Schooner. She volunteers as an editorial consultant for Crab Creek Review and currently teaches part-time at the MFA program at National University. Her personal website is www.webbish6.com.
Darren C. Demaree is the author of three poetry collections, As We Refer to Our Bodies (2013, 8th House), Temporary Champions (2014, Main Street Rag), and Not For Art For Prayer (2015, 8th House). He is the recipient of three Pushcart Prize nominations and a Best of the Net nomination. He is also a founding editor of Ovenbird Poetry and AltOhio. He is currently living in Columbus, Ohio with his wife and children.