you lay in a bed full of mistakes and regrets, wondering why won’t you just wake up before the sheets swallow you up in a warm wave of white. they tell you sleep paralysis is a terrifying thing, and you understand. because when you’ve drifted through life like a zombie robbed of its wish for eternal sleep, the nightmares become real and inescapable, they chase you like unfulfilled promises and neglected responsibilities. your pinky finger forgets its last hug, your legs wobbles under the weight of gravity and your heart wails like a fire alarm but body language says “it’s just a fire drill,” when clearly there is a fire ignited somewhere, smoke choking airways.
some nights insomnia wrecks your homebody, so you count the number of people you’ve seen hopped with ease over the fence, while you struggle to wriggle through the gaps in between that no one gave thought to. they’re gone, disappeared into the darkness of sleep before you can remember the last one. you’re still stuck, your stomach a twisted knot and an outstretched palm, empty. the next morning you wake up to rays of sunlight warmly wrapping around you like a comforting blanket, saying, “it’s going to be a brighter day ahead.” you decide you can afford 5 more minutes, because it’s been a rough night and dreams can wait. this is the way you get through mornings, the way you float in and out of consciousness.