Helpful animal, let me borrow you
for waking into a late Tuesday morning.
The popular literature says I got
the right amount of sleep,
but does not say how to return
safely from sleep’s charcoal rot visions.
Enter the morning maladjusted
and be greeted accordingly. Seriously,
can you be hired away from your
ushering the dead to their judgment?
You are a whippoorwill to me,
because I get to choose not
how the waking world takes me in,
but what kind of animal the animal
that doesn’t appear to help me is.


Author Image

Paul Beilstein was born in Illinois, educated in Illinois and California, and lives with his wife Shereen in Illinois. His poems have appeared in Faultline, Adirondack Review, Wisconsin Review, and Grey Sparrow.

Image by Elijah Gowin via The LACMA