I can’t escape the stains on my eyelids
when I close them for sleep,
can’t run from the memories
that play on repeat
in my brain at 1 am
when the shadows start to creep,
when the night is dark and my body is awake,
I can’t run away.
and I can’t shake the feeling
in my bones at 1 am,
so instead of sleeping
I call the darkness my friend,
staring at my anaemic shadow
on a wall that is not mine,
silly sketches crouched in shadow
to try to bide my time,
or portraits of the girl
who wearily sighs in the mirror.
if only I could weave my insomnia
into a cocoon in which I’d lay,
then my head would stop compressing,
circling tight around my brain,
and my body would stop aching
in ways I can’t explain,
if only stretched-out pain-filled nights
would turn into midnight-dream adventures
where the only pain I’d feel would be
the sting of my 6 am alarm.
I find defeat on the bathroom floor,
I’m falling into a haze.
but still my eyes won’t close
I become obsessed with the way
these thoughts dance through my head,
they flicker and fade.
I re-read the words that stumble
across the journal page
that a ghost of me wrote
mere months ago
… how things change.
but a soft surrender
doesn’t come without a fight,
regardless, I can’t sleep
I can’t sleep,
I can’t sleep.
this is every night,
every week, every December.
I keep longing for a time that was never mine,
unlike something you can keep
in your pocket like a photograph,
that fades with the tides
of water circling through the washing machine.
Alisha is in her first year studying Visual Arts at QUT. She is a lover of any type of artistic endeavour, but words and poetry have always been her first port of call for self-expression. She tends to explore themes of identity, memory and the human condition through her work.