And This is What it Means to be Awake for It

I promised I wouldn't come back
until I had no urge to doodle
on the galaxy walls.

In the remnants of the waiting room
it was all up for grabs –
the money I should have hidden away,
the heart I should have released.

The woman at the head of the circle
made me promise to out-design my fears.

I didn’t text you back. Not once.
You would have said that there
were words for it,
but I didn't want there
to be words for it.

I almost sent you an email.
I had a theory one night that
we all have to find Prometheus
or we have to become Prometheus,
that a sane person spends
a lifetime gathering
a handful of fire.

But my return ticket came
with a new identity,
one who endures without
handfuls of fire.
Where he comes from, 
there are 10,000 
words for sleep.

There are no time bombs 
underneath his sofa,
no gods to steal from,
no giants to sedate.

I still imagine a world without him –
one where you and I 
are taken into custody 
after tunneling aimlessly
to the bottom of the sun.


Jason Abbate lives and writes in New York City. His work has been included in publications such as Red Rock Review, The American Journal of Poetry, Black Heart Magazine, Subprimal and pif Magazine. He is the author of Welcome to Xooxville.