Issue 20 | Fall 2018

Instructions for Insomnia

It’s best not to stare at the spiders that hang
in corners, from vents, directly above you.
Best not to ruminate on the myriad of arachnids
your body has ghosted in your throat.

Don’t try to imagine this room that looks like him.
A disorder of hard-covers arranged by genre.
Don’t envy his loud inhales, his intoxication,
his hanging mouth. He’s already over today’s gutting.

You don’t have to decipher your restless
premonitions, or pay the gas bill tomorrow.
Just try to add up the sum of your ruins,
the long shadows and the tail lights of summer.

The recession won’t mind if you ignite
that last pinch of resin, just to close your eyes.
Go ahead, smoke, feel unscathed.
Let the duress spoon you silent, let the soft

smoke honey you into the almost edge
of relief. Don’t worry, his induced stasis
won’t let him stutter awake, won’t
let him smear you clean.

Just turn off the TV, face the other wall,
expect omens to appear. Let the mattress sigh,
suck you in like a final welding into night.

Filed under: Poetry

Karla Lamb‘s work has appeared in Word Riot, A Women’s Thing Magazine, Pittsburgh Poetry Review, Pittsburgh City Paper, Runaway Hotel, and Voices from the Attic Vol. XIX. Lamb has an MFA in poetry from Carlow University’s Creative Writing program, and is currently working on her full-length poetry manuscript. Lamb lives in Pittsburgh, PA where she works as a project manager for City of Asylum, an organization that provides sanctuary to endangered writers. She has edited for After Happy Hour Review and can usually be found collaborating with various artists and writers in Pittsburgh, PA.