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The Other Side of Sleepwalking

Caffeinated chamomile doesn’t do the trick.

I’ll mix a potion of melatonin vigor through

my open-mouthed can of energy—just a little

something to shave the edge of reality’s sting.

At the brink of today-turned-tomorrow, I’ll risk

a hiccupping pulse from such an elixir. Delicious.

Wild berry liminality. When a tug-o-war slumber

finally pulls me under, my REM-twitching lids

will peel open prematurely. It’ll be a forbidden

thing, straddling subconscious thoughts from

the inside out. I’ll walk the in-between space

of truth and imagination, a thin gossamer layer

to the familiar world. I’ll seek out the source

of déjà rêvé sensations leaving me grappling

for answers. I’ll wrestle my nightmares into

submission and coax paralysis into motion.

I’ll lather myself in evanescent fabrication

as morning yanks me back out of my head.

And when I wake in an unfamiliar place,

I will retrace my steps from the outside in.


BETHANY CUTKOMP is a writer from St. Louis, Missouri. She enjoys catching chaotic vibes and bees with her bare hands. Her work appears in Split Rock Review, Alternative Milk Magazine, The Hooghly Review, Poetry As Promised, Wireworm Magazine, Ghost Parachute, and more. Find her on social media at @bdcutkomp or on her website.

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