Green Hills Literary Lantern



Pretending Sleep



You could have been honest,

not stop at no with eyes turned up

away from me as if the bedroom ceiling

held some interesting specimen--

spider, maybe a dust web like a cloud

forming rabbits, roses or galloping

horses but instead simply, not now.


It’s been a four-day river of unspoken words

rushing all around that rock that is what we are.

When I close my eyes I can see the empty

gaping space of something essential yet absent

I imagine my finger plugging the hole

then my fist and, when that fails,

I remember your tongue and that feels better

than emptiness anger fear or loneliness

meanness or deprivation.


I am tired, too tired to love

anyone or anymore and the words

stop. When I look close enough

through each heartbeat

I see my sins on the ceiling,

an embarrassed nude parade

begging forgiveness.



Theresa Darling graduated from University of Pittsburgh in 1996. This is her second appearance in GHLL. Her work has also appeared in Baily’s Beads and Hellbender Journal. She is currently working on her first full-length poetry collection