Sleep is an Isthmus | Lisa Marie Brodsky

Sleep is an Isthmus

by Lisa Marie Brodsky


On this side, it is you and on that side,

a dream of sanity


waiting for you on the lake’s glassy floor

asking, will you fall through should


your eyes close? You needn’t worry;

snails stick to your seat


and make a mess, but minimal.

A minor inconvenience


compared to the insomnia

that glues your eyes open.


You might as well be fed impaled fish

& rocked back & forth by a neglectful mother.


Your fingers wiggle in water

like worms searching for their ancestors


and dream a drowning, a fall, a reflective

cloud-casket planted on land you can’t reach.


You feel only the night’s longing

to remain night forever


the same way you yearn for rest, for the moon

to give up its right to keep you.


Lisa Marie Brodsky is the author of poetry collections, “We Nod Our Dark Heads” (Parallel Press, 2008), and “Motherlung” (Salmon Poetry, 2014), which received an Outstanding Achievement Award from the Wisconsin Library Association. Her poetry has been published in The North American Review, Mom Egg Review, Peacock Journal, Diode Poetry Journal, Verse Wisconsin, SUSAN/The Journal, Poetry Quarterly, and has work forthcoming in The Linden Avenue Literary Journal and Barrow Street. In 2016 she was anthologized in “Even the Daybreak: 35 Years in Salmon Poetry.” As faculty member at AllWriters’ Workplace & Workshop, Brodsky teaches classes on emotional healing through creative writing. Her web site can be found at: