the wine of sleep

the wine of sleep
ichorous blasted ash
dead angels turned to gas

the wine of sleep gentle and black-eyed
gizzard swifter than a bullet in his lithe
nighting the street

the lotus eaters’ spikes
microdot tattoo
from the sleeve of the earth

drunkard stumbles to the sea
to see the sun blink off and on
loose light bulb

the wine of sleep is bottled in the deep
by titans graven in their keep
their steps are slow but sound
as they ferment

sleeper sleeper in your coil
sleeper sleeper farmer son
black eyed and white

sleeper muddled and adrift
let me lift you from the eddy
branch and straw
paper boat

waking comes with his pack
quaking with the beasts he’s known and put inside
on his long journey
keep it still and set it down
the sun a foreign brother
speaking a language dead twenty thousand years
a giant in his kingdom lost and now returned
bearing your name stamped in his jewels

waking comes with his kingdom wrapped
with graceful notes and spirals
tattoos made by men and not machines

like Ing
cut by his father for his fire
burning over the hill
for all to see
you wake

Robin Wyatt Dunn was born in Wyoming in 1979. You can read more of his work at Read other articles by Robin.