it is an autumn of hypnic jerks and dim-lit ceilings,
turning over until both sides of the pillow smolder
with the residue of last summer’s heat.
you are a mess of limbs, and sleeplessness creeps,
leaking in the windows, melting across your sheets.
here, in this three am purgatory, caught between stages
of waking—here, it spreads across you like a sea of stars,
glossy and gleaming, piercing every edge of your skin.
something greater than daylight bears down
on you and your restless head, and you blink,
blink, blink, the syncopation of your circadian rhythm
pounding like a bass beat all night long.
Zoe Cunniffe is a poet and singer-songwriter from Washington, DC. She has previously been published in literary journals such as Meniscus and The Showbear Family Circus, and she can be found on Instagram at @there.are.stillbeautifulthings.