Can’t sleep

Can’t sleep.
Four in the morning and I can’t sleep.
Bedclothes too hot, too heavy.
Can’t sleep.
Kick them off.
Too cold.
Can’t sleep.

Can’t sleep.
The churchbells ring off-rhythm quarters.
Three in the morning.
Quarter past.
Half.
Quarter to.
Four.
Count them.
Can’t sleep.

Can’t sleep.
Window open, window closed.
Makes no difference.
Can’t sleep.
Third night.
Quarter chimes.
Can’t sleep.

This is the time when all my failures come back to me.
Parade around the bed, shaking my arm, clamouring in silence for attention.
Me? Remember me?
The time you said –
__wished you hadn’t.
The time you chose –
__knew you shouldn’t.
The time you were passive  –
__ought to have acted.
The time you said nothing –
__should’ve spoken up.
The promises you broke.
The friends you lost.
The hurts you caused.
They stand around the bed, climb in with you, shout in whispers.
Wrap around.
Weigh you down.
Boil you. Chill you.
Sweat you. Choke you.
Press you. Cramp you.
Steal your sleep and leave you counting –
__church bells.
Half four.
Can’t sleep.

The Black Dog wants its due.