The Way a Turtle Knows for Llewyn

Text: Pip Smith



Shh. The evening is turning green

and the trees are inching closer.

They will keep our sleep forested

with birds that are fast vanishing

from the world. The cuckoo pulls the jungle

down from the north, like a blanket

over the supine legs of the coast. It wakes us

from our pseudo slumber of half-cooked dreams,

and for a moment the suburbs are a wilder,

more adventurous place. Last night

lightning set our room on fire, and we slept through it all.

No one can protect you from the clamorous world

except yourself, and not even you

can calm it down sometimes. I would if I could

but my sleepless mind plays tricks on me. It’s alright

to fall asleep while he suckles at your breast

this is what your father did not say,

though I could have sworn he did at 3 am,

as I nodded off over the alien

peristalsis of your mouth. We are two strangers,

drunk on each other, or you are drunk on milk and I am drunk

on the smell of your peeling skin,

the acrobatics of your lips

trying out their catalogue of pouts

and grimaces to be performed for years to come.

You cannot hold your head up, and everything is a danger,

especially me, who cannot help but love you

fiercely, unconsciously,

the way a turtle knows

to love the same beach year after year,

even when it could not be further away.



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