“Sleepless” by Kevin Shanahan


Laying
On the ground
Surrounded by red hay
And needles
Trying to sleep

It's late
It's early
It's 11:30pm

Lie my head down
On my pack
Look at the stars
Close my eyes.

I'm freezing.

I shiver myself awake.
Must be 3
Maybe 4
The coldest part of the night.
It's 12:35

I need sleep
I need warmth
I get up, shake my legs
And smoke one more cigarette.

I stare at the stars
I shut my eyes.
1:21
I'm up again.
Too cold to sleep.

I pace.
I smoke
I hear sirens,
See them on the buildings side.

A strip mall
On the side, in a corner
Surrounded on two sides
By a brick wall
I hide behind 2 tall bushes.
I pace.
I shiver.
I try to get warm.

2:02
Lie back down
Hat on, scarf tight.
I left my gloves on the bus today.
It's very cold.

3o'clock
Back up
Wearing five long sleeve shirts,
A jacket
A scarf,
Long johns,
Still can't get sleep.

Lie down,
Stare at the stars.
Close my eyes.
Get up
Stars light my way out of here.

Go to my car.
Parked in a hotel parking lot
No heat.
It doesn't start.
Middle of the night,
People come
People go.
Still.

No rest,
No sleep
Gotta get out of here.
Gotta get out of this life.

Get out of car,
Wait for the bus.
Nowhere to go,
Maybe I'll get some sleep.