by Abigail Kirby Conklin
I dreamt anxiety this morning
for three and a half hours, followed
by an additional strained five.
My roommates' cat stood guard
overhead on my windowsill.
I kept jerking open, only to close
in more deeply upon the rat races
for which I was firing endless starting guns
in sleep. I woke with a sweated twist
of a body. I found myself as an old rag
in my parents' basement
where the subsequent generations
of used towels collected. Morning sun shone
on my tired, terry cloth skin,
grubby cottoned white background
littered with the brown blossoms my brother
and I once chewed the hemlines off of
while the other screamed injustice in the bathtub,
shampoo running hot and free, leaving
us soaked, blind.