Recent research says that
while we sleep
our brain cells shrink,
making room to let
the sap they swim in
wash away the toxins of the day.
Tonight I crawl between the sheets,
pull the covers up and
nuzzle in my pillow
balancing my brain like laundry baskets
filled with scraps of images and urges
soiled in hours among the wakeful:
memories splotched with joy or stained with bitterness,
intentions frayed around the edges,
well-worn thoughts and barely-used ideas,
pockets linted with exhaustion.
I sigh, curl arms and legs more fetally,
sink deeper in the laundry room of sleep,
begin to separate the braincell
undies from the jeans and cleaning rags,
whites apart from smudging colors,
mental fragiles sorted by themselves
in piles along the edges of my brain.
Then, when I let go to deepest sleep,
cerebral fluids start to slosh,
enigmatic, automatic, silent.
I’d never know that anything had happened
in the Laundromat of night,
except that when I wake I find
fresh dreams hung out to dry,
or left untethered, scattering
across the dawn.
© 2014 Cynthia Trenshaw