Why does sleep evade

when night falls starless

or white with moon

love masquerading as sadness

then anger as I'm reading aloud

in the darkest room of this house

detailed letters to lawyers,

ineffectual health agencies

certain members of

both sides of the family.

I try to imagine

how they justify the blame

the lack of empathy, even now,

finding it beyond my ability,

knowing and forgetting

some things never change.

And if I doze off to awaken alone

it is to my own discontent, not ours

for all these battles have been

already fought and lost in reality

where not even the blessed starlight

the swirl and scent of cypress nor

the loveliness caught by a dead artist

can soften or erase two stark dreams:

His daughter digging holes in our yard

looking for her father, nor me

telling him a white lie when

showing me briefcases of cash

I've hidden from him in a closet

back when we scarcely knew ourselves

back when we were both on fire.