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