Down Side Up
In the relentless jaws of insomnia,
I found a swing set in the night.
I wore sandals and no coat
against the smoky autumn cold.
I gripped the chains like the arms
of a stranger.
The wind slipped beneath my clothes
as I swung in a high, perfect arc,
to the rocking chair rhythm of the ocean.
In the dark, it looked as if the entire earth
had pulled loose from its imagined axis.
It felt like the entire planet was a grass stained child
log-rolling gleefully down a hill.
The honking of a passing car
caused my chains to buckle,
and the plastic seat tipped me forward.
I landed heavily, with one leg twisted underneath,
and the ocean’s tidal rhythm drained back
to where I’d conjured it from.
Yet still, for a few moments more,
the wild earth tumbled on,
like an Etch-a-Sketch shaking free its mistakes
and starting again.