Oh, close your eyes and you wake up / Face stuck to a vinyl settee / Oh, the line was starting to break up / What was that you were going to say? / 


issue 05: good night

sleeping while awake
joan roach

There’s this pit,
this window
this dip
that I nestle into. Maybe it’s a fold.

Spending all of your mornings alone,
you’re left between the edge of a dream and the present;
boundaries reveal themselves as penetrable
as buckling seams

I slip in between for a while.

On most days, it doesn’t last as long as I’d like.
Disquiet surges through,
the transparent chrysalis.
like a sickly light.

At a moment’s notice
my entire being becomes forgotten—
all that I was
whisked away by the artificial beams of my grow light.

As it dwindles on,
its insufferable hum skirts across the room to my ears.
Forced into the material body,
the unbecoming nature of flesh,
its smells
ground me back to the mortal plane.

I lie there
for the motifs that lit up above
my eyes the night before.
Glasses off, I squint past my cracked screen.

Other times, however,
when the dreams are more real than living,
a lilac membrane swallows me.
In that liminal hiding place
I am within it,
I know I am within it,
but in these blips,
I do not know who I am.

Sweat wicks away.
Lush, up to my neck,
unknowable waves pull me into the washing machine and I’m happy to hold my breath.

I sink
deep below
into my mermaid’s purse.

Pause in birth
I circumvent self-worth.
Before the land’s stage
imagine instead
a moving form emerges

I’m just a blip in the water column,
swept up before I wake up,
I see actions played out by the actors:
those swimming in my visions of the night
—before the curtain falls,
but not their implications—
they wash over and over me.

I know only that they were
that I felt them
that I moved through them.
Disorienting amorality sweeps over
A poorly thought-out curtain call.

I am not honing in on some frequency and sitting there for a while.
I am Outside, Inside the fold.
It’s an inside/outside sort of fuckery.

To access the space between the seams
I push up against the night.
This isn’t hard,
I don’t sleep
much when the moon is out.
I look at the undersides
of the leaves beside me, hoping
they don’t fall, hoping
a new pigmentation isn’t a sign.

These worries make one’s head heavy, split
but burning eyes wait wide open.

It’s only when the sun’s light creeps
through my window
and reflects across my walls
that I find myself falling into deeper sleep still.
Shadow-leaves drape my room.
I am enclosed,


︎ ︎ ©Plates 2021
︎ ︎ ©Plates 2021