Art by Mark Dizon

Written by Emily Harris

orphan-tear blue


by the time i was 8, i’d made myself near-sighted
from holding flashlights under covers, reading books
when i should’ve been sleeping. so what if i’d slept?
maybe then i’d know more about dreams, & less about facts –
more about rest, & less about strangers & adventures
that, under quilts, only belonged to me partially.
i’d see things with my eyes like colours & falling,
not letters or teddy-bear shadows framing my shoulders.
at 18, i’m still sneaking around & hiding under covers.
most of the time i have words with me too – they say
i talk too much, i over-analyze, (but they don’t mind
that we forget to sleep) – just like before,
these nights are still less about dreams & rest,
& more about facts & strangers & adventures.
i don’t need my eyes, i don’t need my eyes,
to read how this story will end.