Sara O'Donnell Adler, two poems


At 1:43 a.m. fragments of conversation

balloon in your mind’s open popping eye

constricting the lungs,

diaphragm heaving your body’s weight.

Even under blankets, quilts

frozen are your toes, muscles of legs

groaning for rest that never comes.

Heavy is the bowling ball of night. Heavier than the

investment binders, portfolios, non-mutual funds, all that

junk squatting in the spare room

kitty-cornered from where you

lie, fretting about how you will ever

move it all out before the

next tenant comes,

opening the locks of your doors

prying his furniture into your favorite places

questioning choice of color, the fire-cracker

red wall of the kitchen.


Time tilts forward, the annoying moon

under cozy cover of cloud sleeps more.

Vexing, it is, to be the only one awake,

wide-eyed wondering about—What was her name?

Xenia. The childhood friend who betrayed you,

yodeling secrets on the playground while the yellow

zebra striped butterflies floated away.

Of Death