Sarah Bigham

Issue No. 19 • Spring 2018

waking to fatigue ultimately sent me to a neurologist which led to a referral for a laboratory sleep study that was turned down by my insurance so I did a home test instead which could not have involved much actual sleep what with that contraption lashed to my head and the tube up my nose but nevertheless there was a report with data showing low levels of REM sleep but no apnea which is an interesting finding as all the ologists seemed convinced I had apnea probably because I am fat but I don’t have apnea so a cpap trial was ordered to see if that might help with the REM problem so I went for a fitting with a sleep technologist and emerged from the office with a shoulder bag containing tubes and motors and “nasal pillows” which give the impression of comfort but don’t let that fool you because it took nearly six months to get used to sleeping with this thing that whooshes and tethers me to a box on the nightstand and feels like an octopus strapped to my face and I call it my baby because she needs constant attention like the distilled (never tap) water that must be fed into the water chamber daily and the parts that need to be cleaned every day and the filters and hoses and face masks that must be swapped out with regularity and the weekly soaking of the chamber in a solution of diluted white vinegar before tapping it to burp out extra liquid followed by placing said chamber on a clean washcloth before dumping out the vinegar water which looks rather beautiful being a shade of pale blue against the stark white bucket I bought specifically to bathe the baby and then I have to get in the shower with the special gentle cleanser I use these days because all other soap irritates my skin and use that to wash the head harness and hoses before rinsing them all and hanging everything up in the shower partly on handles we added to adapt the bathroom to my chronic health needs and there they drip dry all day before I reassemble the baby late at night and plug her in and push the on button and attach the various parts to my head and lie down with one hand lightly on my chest as I hum myself to sleep

how do | you
bury your | mother and put
her in the | ground with pink
like | flamingos
accompanying her

how do | you
bury your | mother and send
her off to sleep | tucking her
in with a brand | new
shirt and that

how do | you
bury your | mother and turn
to walk | away from the one who
you always | framed, waving
as she

    As with armadillos / Are we
Looking towards the arcing / Sun
               Or gazing at asphalt / Covering memory roots
       Balled and dormant / Sticks with tics
Awaiting the Clear Crack signal / Safe to rise
               Leatherette pleather feathers / And horns