Sometimes at night there’s a procession of headlights in the windows, unceasing, and each passing light contains voices and thoughts from the television and textbooks and daydreams of all the things you’d like to do.
you give up and open your eyes but it doesn’t seem to make a difference, as though you’d been lying wide-eyed, and the streetlight outside the window fills a gloomy yellow into the room. An hallucination indistinct from waking dream. When you wake and feel as though you haven’t slept, or have been watching your sleep, aware of yourself drifting into slumber that never arrives so long as you are waiting, no matter how long you try.
There are a million things to do and see: road trips and reading and autumn flings and parties with beer, and cocaine, and a dozen plots you’ve storied tonight, alone, to write when your mind’s at ease, but not now, when the backs of the eyes are painful and heavy and there’s no one to talk to and all the town and campus is closed and all you want is sleep so that you might write something well in the morning.
And when the morning comes and the room brightens through the window that was bright all night from the security light across the alley and your eyes are well weighted and your head is an anesthetic haze as you float back to sleep, aware of the campus and town and the world outside coming to life of coffee and backpacks and morning air and construction sounds.
the room is hot and bright and you are sweaty under a bedsheet hearing footsteps and loud voices in the hall out front your door, and the shame were they to come in, to see you sleeping the afternoon
and the shame that you missed Anthropology 101 at 12:30pm for the second Thursday in a row and if there had been a test, was there a paper due, the sinking of an irreparable mistake you’ve only just learned you probably made.
and the anxiety of Algebra 101, and English 102 in a small room with a kind professor who judges you harshly, and quietly your heart beats quickly for friends and pretty girls in cities you’ve never seen and the lives that were made in youth disregarding desks and rules just to dream
as the voice recedes behind clouds over hills rolling by windows of a lover you only met and the voice you realize is a professor, the professor, standing at the head of the room, that you are supposed to be looking at and listening to while the world goes on,
While the world goes on (the poets sing)
While the world goes on (the leaders build)
and in the library you sleep past dinner, then read awhile, before lying awake in bed.