Completing Lists

I have a long list of words
and when I fall asleep all the words
on my list will also be asleep
and able to be used in sleep.
But there is someone else
with an even longer list
whose job it is to make sure
everything stays awake.
After all, the world could end
accidentally if everything in it
went to sleep at the same time.
He’s very serious and vigilant
about his job – drinking coffee
and taking speed – but I keep
adding more and more words
to mine, making it heavy and dreamy,
like loading cargo onto a boat.

Elaine Equi


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