Sometimes, when I can’t sleep
at night, I read Billy Collins.
He reminds me of an old adage
When it’s late at night and branches
are banging against the windows,
you might think that love is just a matter
that cradles the cliches of my character
so forgivingly, hushing the opaque,
before kissing me goodnight.
of leaping out of the frying pan of yourself
into the fire of someone else,
but it’s a little more complicated than that.
I’m likely to wake again,
sleeping lightly, thinking deeply–
my mind is a Rubik’s cube
It’s more like trading the two birds
who might be hiding in that bush
for the one you are not holding in your hand.
my body can neither stand
nor sleep off; just turn,
turn, turning over in my sheets.
A wise man once said that love
was like forcing a horse to drink
but then everyone stopped thinking of him as wise.
until I hit Snooze again, depleted.
This is not cool. I am not a fan
of the other side of the pillow.
Let us be clear about something.
Love is not as simple as getting up
on the wrong side of the bed wearing the emperor’s clothes.
Just another moment, please,
while I get myself together, as I lay
restless in the throws of October.
No, it’s more like the way the pen
feels after it has defeated the sword.
It’s a little like the penny saved or the nine dropped stitches.
I’m not ready for November,
December, January, February or March. Maybe April.
Mother May I please skip to June?
You look at me through the halo of the last candle
and tell me love is an ill wind
that has no turning, a road that blows no good,
It’s all over, and I am whelmed by the passing
of time that anchors me to a trick-or-treat submission:
This has really just begun.
But I am here to remind you,
as our shadows tremble on the walls,
that love is the early bird who is better late than never.
*Adage by Billy Collins