Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, NEW YORK IN SUMMER: INSOMNIA, by JOHN BROOKS WHEELWRIGHT

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Classic and Contemporary Poetry

NEW YORK IN SUMMER: INSOMNIA, by                     Poet's Biography
First Line: Beneath trees whose leaves
Last Line: I must try to sleep.
Subject(s): Cities; Insomnia; Nicaragua; Travel; Urban Life; Sleeplessness; Journeys; Trips

BENEATH trees whose leaves
munch the air like jaws
of crocodiles steeped in Nicaraguan waters,
I sit,
sipping milk from a sherbet glass in the moonlight.
Trucks and elevated trains shatter the dawning.
I think of how you have beaten your mistress,
my temples throb, and I quiver,
though I had much rather
be asleep.
Later on in the year, when the light of the jaded moon is faded
the newspapers will lie crumpled in the fountains;
the dust will begin to whirl down the streets
in little typhoons;
the city will be arid, the window-sills grimy;
and the basins of the fountains half-filled with stagnant rain.
I have sipped all my milk,
the sherbet glass is empty but for moonlight, —
I must try to sleep.

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