Summer 2010 • Vol. XXXII No. 3 Poetry |

Sonnets to Ambien

Ambien, a sedative-hypnotic drug used by insomniacs, may cause hallucinations and erratic behavior. 1 A reaper and his phosphorescent lynx hover from my coat hook. I'm already this far from sleep. Whole species away. The pillow swims. Isn't this hot flutter in each nostril the fur of my nocturnal angel as she bristles by, and changes the time zone? The time zone here always resets to jet lag. As if I fly in, each second from Paris, anew, with my perfumed silks, my scrawled-on maps. I've tried valerian, chamomile, lavender, and hops. I've eaten passionflower. Outside my window the honeysuckle's smothering the summer locusts. Their cogs and wings grind. 2 At three a.m., a snack: buttered cigarettes in a Chinese noodle-bowl. A frieze of blue mountains along its lip. Sleep's porcelain borders. Next: a salt sandwich, a slice of raw bacon. Tell me, bright lynx, what your grazing pastures grow. I know the cucumber blooming over brick must hold the harshest yellows of midday

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Anna Journey is the author of the poetry collections Vulgar Remedies (Louisiana State University Press, 2013) and If Birds Gather Your Hair for Nesting (University of Georgia Press, 2009), which was selected by Thomas Lux for the National Poetry Series. She is an assistant professor of English at the University of Southern California. Her website is http://annajourney.com.

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Warning

By Anna Journey

Ambien, a sedative-hypnotic drug used by insomniacs, may cause hallucinations and erratic behavior. 1 A reaper and his phosphorescent lynx hover from my coat hook. I'm already this far from […]

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