Sleep is the Only Durable Narrative
Elizabeth Robinson


A person is falling asleep.
There is some delay while the body shifts. Breathing
slows. He is
apparently asleep.
But then he moves again.
Legs above the blanket, legs below the blanket.
The changes in rhythm are interminable. But this
is the story.

Sleeping itself. When he is
finally asleep, the body can resume
remaking itself or
call on a project of outright fabrication. He doesn't
know his own story, except as he respires it.
Cells re-coat. Dreams are irrelevant. Connective
tissue lengthens, glossing itself.

He is a wonderful entity, finally
voiceless and productive. Except were he
to fall apart in his sleep, a possibility
that has its own unity.

This is mostly a string of overlapping
events gone unwitnessed. Unless someone
who cannot go to sleep is lying there too.
She goes through similar shifts and
sighs. What validity does
his sleep gain

by virtue of her not sleeping— She decides to notice
his repose; she decides not to.
She considers that she is eavesdropping
somnolence, but it's not so

in a tale that cannot be permeated. Corpuscles
mending themselves. Insomniac,
she confesses that she is eavesdropping
her own unmaking, awake. This is not
an anti-story, but an alternative.

White lights come in through the window,
begging a source. Now the frazzled body
rears up, claims that light as more than immanent, dying
to spy, at least, on some body. However atomic
or abrupt.

Issue Two
Table of Contents