“Insomniac Celebration” by Heidi Cohen


I realize that the second we are born we are dying
you and I celebrate the process of growth and decay
by helping it along, lighting a cigarette, if only
one of us could reach that ashtray

We are caught in a cloud of cobwebs
or caught in a web of lies—of wishful thinking,
to think that we could have really made it
we made it as far as this room, didn't we?

Sometimes I swear I'm becoming an insomniac
an insomniac addict who’s having at it, in this attic

Since ashtrays have retreated the grey ends of our
clove-covered buds are falling on crawling spiders
making their way across the stained wooden floor
and black beamed ceiling

They will spin again, an intricate snare of worries
worth ignoring, in our gallant attempt to smoke out the
danger of strangers. Inhale, get it in your lungs you say
at least we know why we are dying.