Simile List Pieces: Sleep & Blue


Sleep is like space travel, the nightly unravel, that gravel you hear in my throat so loud only matches the sound of my meandering feet, treading along the infinite way, past stars and moons, far from the soon-gone sun, until in one moment, or the next, I wake to another world, taking stock of how and when I fit in here, how this lumbering lump of clay may yet be molded today to walk again the road. And if the road to happiness here in this one now is truly wide, will I also find it smoothly paved? Or will the dust rise, the rocks slide loose from time to time, is every step sure, sounding an even scraped or a stumbling crunch? And coming down on either side, are there nice places here to find food, are there good piles of leaves for bedding, nodding off and falling back into the worlds, stacked and mismatched. I’ll walk along just fine today all alone, as long as you can promise me we’ll have some space, some place for sleep along the way.


Blue is impossibly delicious, like no food in existence, at least in nature—think about it!—and while you’re there, ponder hard on the concept of blue as more than a word rolling off the tip, as a sound set free. What would blue sound like if sung by a bird, or a dog—who may or may not even see blue (how can we know?)—and how can we show that the water’s only blue because of its reflection obsession with the sky, and that even the atmosphere is only blue because our eyes can’t see farther out, past that hue to the stars that are always there behind the curtain, maybe only once, in a sapphire moon, an azure moon, denim moon, indigo, cerulean, cerulean, cerulean—who wouldn’t love to say “cerulean” out loud and isn’t doing so now (though it’s not as fun to read or write, I’m afraid)—and right then I smell the wind blowing in blue from the West, wondering whether the obvious choices are even usually right, and when it is okay to only write cliches, I’ll lay down my pen (itself, never blue) and ignoring impossible, I’ll imagine blue breathed out, dripping down from my mouth, to sate the jealous soil that despite its density and muck only ever longs to mirror and shine as effortlessly as the sea.


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