Monday, August 9, 2010

Sleeper Skin

Sleeper Skin

Entrapped
in the smoking
yellow of sleeper
skin, it is five
to noon and the sounds
of a cough erupt
like a startled stomach
outside the window.
Belly-down,
eyes bleeding into a saint's
feathered pillow,
I want it off.
The sickened skin,
the fluffs of tender
pool flesh,
conform to hands
of the wandering,
down, down, down,
gone to shake another off,
quietly, secretly,
before the stampede
of voices tumble down the walls,
the silk abstinence of strangers.
Fumbling now,
hell's next-door neighbor,
two mysterious taps
on the door
disturb the glow.
A dog barks
somewhere down the dirty road,
its howl echoes the sheets,
blesses the solitude.



April Michelle Bratten is a writer currently living in North Dakota.  She is the co-editor of the online literary journal Up the Staircase (www.upthestaircase.org). 

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