Some nights in sleep, I tangle myself half in and half out of clothes. Wake to the strain of not knowing why. Better to leave myself cold and naked than clothed and wondering. It’s not dream, but thought, with consequence that never translates to wake. No sense in pulling the straps of my nightgown over my head to one shoulder. The immediacy in needing to slip on underwear in the middle of night. Not desire. Not protection. Not wild narrative brewed by pillow-seated head. Bodily in the way the head cannot grasp. Night brings its own laws, joys in watching us fumble to learn, in commanding our bodies to do what our waking minds could not dream of.
Katherine Gaffney is currently in the final year of her MFA at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Her work has previously appeared and is upcoming in Lullwater Review, the Madison Review Online, Kettle Blue Review, Meridian, the Tampa Review, Nimrod International Journal of Prose and Poetry and elsewhere.