The course of events (A poem)

Not a pantoum or a poem about politics (yes!), but necessary.

It always starts in the same place:
at the back of the neck
below the base of the skull
just above the fold

At first, I don’t think much of it
Perhaps I slept wrong
or it’s a knot that can be loosened
with the right twist, or a hot shower

Then it winds up and over
settling in just behind the eyes—
not unlike the horns on a Los Angeles Rams football helmet
thickening slightly around the temples

From there, it shifts around
depending on the position of my head
the way soup swirls around in the bowl
when you carry it from kitchen to table
each step causing it to threaten one side or the other
while you curse yourself
for not having grabbed a napkin on your way out

Maybe a good lie-down will help
with a heating pad behind my head—
or one of those microwaveable neck thingies—
to draw my attention away from my throbbing temples

Sleep comes—but never soon enough
Until then, blood pulses through my arteries
like fine sandpaper
each moment with eyes closed
is hours spent roasting on a spit

Dreams arrive
backed by a low, resonant hum
of which I am constantly aware
The action reminds me of a movie
with the people behind me
talking all the way through

I am so tired
An area rug just brought in from the balcony
would not feel as beat as I do

Sleep calls
I am inclined to answer

(8 March 2016)