local_library The Insomnia Effect

by Stephanie Smith

Published in Issue No. 269 ~ October, 2019

I am doing alright, I tell myself

Or is it that I hold back the lamp

that attacks me in the night?


I get up to fetch a drink of water,

but the moon blinds me with its blue powder

Teases me. I cannot breathe

as the stairs begin to bail beneath me

And I am caught in metaphors

falling from the ceiling


Ghosts float from tree to tree

outside the hallway window,

humming hymns and heavy metal ballads

as corpses stir in the ground below


My dream self pokes me with a stick

I don’t know if I’m still awake

or somewhere in between

Maybe I should lay back down,

free myself from this ghastly scene


No sooner does my head hit the pillow

than I hear the banshee scream

Time to get up! It cries

Its razor-sharp tongue slashes my ear

and flings me from the bed,

bashes my head against the wall


My skull cracks open

and spills out on the floor

all hopes and dreams and trinkets and sweets

I’ve collected through the years


I’ll spend all day cleaning it up

until it’s time to sleep once more

account_box More About

Stephanie Smith is a poet and writer living in Pennsylvania. Her work has appeared in such publications as ABYSS & APEX, WHISTLING SHADE, THE HORROR ZINE, ILLUMEN, and LIQUID IMAGINATION.