I sleep in a crooked bed so at night my dreams drain away

at night
I board planes
tall as skyscrapers
that never land

scan paragraphs
without periods

tumble down holes
without bottom

as 100 shapes of me
sprawl and plot,
a stacked and pointed palimpsest
darkening by the hour
until I am blinked awake

alone in this world
pursued in all others
I leave no impression
save a salt outline on a mattress
a sweated-out precursor
of dead man’s chalk

riveted to my own story
eyes shut tight


Clay Waters has had poems published in The Santa Clara Review, River Oak Review, Literal Latte, Poet Lore, and Better Than Starbucks. Clay lived in Florida until the age of four and recently returned to find it hasn’t changed a bit. Three of his six memories from that first stop involve the alphabet, which in retrospect was a bit of a tell.