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Taloned fingers tear at tortured
Skin in the war with the night

Fingers feel. The tingling tells
The sheltering skin of restless woes
Caught inside the body’s cage.

No more the hollow night holds out
For sorrow’s sleep but trundles on,
Merciless in its darkened course.

You will not come to bring me peace?
What have I done to cause you so
To spurn my plea and leave me low?

How many times have I lain thus
And pondered on that greater
Sleep that I would fain but suffer

At my own hand, no less, and yet
I lie here still awake, alive –
But just. A jest it is. A joke,

And I the butt at bottom of
This pit whose walls I cannot climb.
Perforce I must be quick yet still.

Had I the strength of wakeful mien
I’d fly to you so that unrest
Would have distraction from its plight!

But now my mind gives flight to that
Which hereby counts itself a cause
Of this insomniac appeal.

And taloned fingers tear at tortured
Skin in the war with the night

fp 2015

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