these things will be okay as long as i light a candle in each window. as long as i pray to the right tree. as long as you wake me up at 4am to stand on the porch & watch as the stray cats march towards a bright next life. sleep is a new luxury. there is so much to miss. once, i slept & missed all the fireflies of july. another time i slept & didn't eat for three years. right now i'm held together by a string of promises i'm keeping to the gnats in the kitchen. a harmonica spins in my soul like a haggard breath. the gnats lick the sticky syrup from the surfaces of nectarines & uneaten bananas. i make deals with minor demons to see their faces in the bathroom mirror. living alone is like living inside your own voice. you would think i'd start to sing but i use it less & less. what is the point of sound? my dogs started a book club without me. i open the windows to flush the place with cold. here is the winter talking. soon i'll be able to use myself as firewood. kindling hair. fingernails curling towards the moon. who knows if any of this works. i set pumpkins by the door & they turn into infants--wailing until i pull them inside & feed them mashed sweet potato. i hum to myself a low tune with no words & it summons a herd of deer. i am beautiful in some corner of this life & somewhere out there you are a brilliant aching. i dip a needle into your thumb to sew mine to yours. thin little red string. don't wake up yet.