Sleeping on the Roof
By Joanne Lowery
The first time it was flat as a flood plain
and the stars loved me.
Even the moon tolerated my dreams.
But tectonic forces peaked
so that I faced the threat of runoff.
The flakes of my skin failed
to grab onto shingles.
With a length of Rapunzel’s hair
I tied myself away from all gutters.
Then I was neither land nor sky.
For fun I draped myself over dormers.
I dared the Big Dipper to ladle
me like soup. Dawn kept coming
earlier and earlier. Midnight
was a nanosecond, REM the blink
of barely closed eyes. I remembered
the beds of youth and lovers.
I feared the closeness of heaven.
After weeks of practice I let go
and rolled into a lovely nap,
kept going to the edge and drop.
A bit of a jolt, I assure you,
gravity bereft of lullaby.
Sudden rain made all the difference.
Civilization exudes its own sweetness:
clean sheets, the mild declivity
we leave behind, and floors
that stretch ahead forever.