Napo 16

I think there's a seed of a poem somewhere in this. The prompt today was to write about the moon. I was reading Joseph Millar's "Venetian Siesta" on Poem-a-Day, and like the poem's meditation on sleep as something we're taught to feel guilty about. But the poem felt a little indulgent in an age of suffering and unrest--pandemia and protest and climate change, and here's a guy feeling guilty about sleeping on a sofa in Venice because he's not able to soak up the sights. Hmph. Of all the things to feel guilty about? Anyway, it made me think about the shared humanity of guilt. How it's something we all carry, collectively. And sleep is a moment where we can slough it off.

I'm guilty of feeling guilty about trivial things, too. In my case, it's usually related to what I'm eating or not eating, and how much exercise I'm doing or not doing. Yesterday afternoon, during my own slothy nap, I dreamt of ice cream. An indulgence only in my dreams (that day, I eat plenty of ice cream).

In Praise of Sloth


Tonight the moon is so white

it makes me think of a scoop

of vanilla ice cream in the parlor

of the sky, and the stars are sprinkles

of sugar, the comet, somewhere

off in the distance, a swirl of caramel.


But the ice cream parlor

Down the street

Closed up shop months ago,


And by this I mean the sky is falling

And by this I mean the world,

As we know it, is coming to an end.


So how delicious, to fall into the lull

of sweetness, of sleep, this delicious

mouthful of peace in the midst

of ambulances and protests and gunshots

and deadlines and devastation, and oceans rising,


to let the eyes flutter shut for a moment,

of a night, and carry the hungry mind

off to a land of sugared dreams,

when all there was to worry over

was brain freeze.