The city throbs fluorescent arteries,
pulses a slow moving slurry of meat
and metal phased by traffic signals
dealing dime bags to junkies
queuing to snort lines on the way home.
(can you blame them when home is an empty advent calendar?)
Somewhere, buildings huddle,
sleep deprived witnesses
to a luminous war of words.
Lidless eyes reflecting
and absorbing the brilliance
of mad men and their billboards.
(all strung out on incandescent addiction)
Shop windows shatter
secret lives and peace
when they pierce dull corners
with photons ricocheted off eyes
of pedestrian lice.
The sleepless writhe in perpetual day,
eyes dry and blistered, weeping
and waiting for the cool tongue of night
Sleep, borrowed in pinches
(and paid back in bags)
from narrow gaps
between howls and hysteria,
in the creases of red-rimmed lids.
They pray for a new plague
for a creeping tide of black ants
to devour the dreams
of their bright-eyed pestilence.
(kill the light! kiss the night!)
And when it comes,
when grids flounder
ground between the teeth
of the ravenous,
the sleepless will remain so,
imprisoned in whimpering closets
and under mattress ceilings
armed and waiting for the unseen
feet of intruders.
(kiss the night good night!)