The No Man’s Land of 4:37 AM


There’s a silken consistency
to the darkness at 4:37 AM.
Perhaps the only consistent aspect
of waking then for no good reason.
Your mind can move all around
the slick secrets this hour hides
as easily as your eyes
might swivel ‘neath their
superfluously dimming lids.
But sleep won’t come to seal
the deal of removing light
from your head as well as
your silent bed.

Even in this perfect storm
of soporific somnolency,
there’s an insomniac pea
beneath your consciousness
that niggles you for what you
didn’t do yesterday and what
you’ll be too tired to try today.
So you roll over, pull covers
atop your head, add even more
smothering darkness onto this
No Man’s Land hour–
too late to go back to sleep,
yet too early to begin today.
If, in this Stygian silkiness,
you could read a definition
whether or not a Today this be.

The too-true story of a poet and his mind’s conflicted relationship with sleep in the perfect quiet of a pre-dawn peppered with the obnoxiously inspirational and guilt-ridden bird songs of his sun-bright imagination. Frankly, I’d rather go back to sleep. Perhaps, now that this is out of the way, I might.


One thought on “The No Man’s Land of 4:37 AM

  1. Oh, this is me nearly every single night! A friend of mine, who is a sleep researcher, says that it is absolutely normal to wake at 4 a.m., as it marks the end of one sleep cycle and the start of another in us humans. The problem with insomniacs is that we wake up and fail to fall back into the new sleep cycle.

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