The Sleepers

TV off, the last ablutions done.
Toothpaste foam and late-night flushings
froth together in the drain.
And, one by one, fingers turn on the darkness,
bodies fold themselves in feather-down,
minds fumble for their off-switch,
curtain eyelids close. 

You’d think, after so many years,
they would be good at it.
But in the big room, switches broken,
she and he both see-saw to and fro
from bills and deadlines
to bizarre uneasy dreams, take turns
to snore each other out of sleep.

Across the landing, though, the novices
could show them how it’s done.
The bodies still, the minds away
riding on unicorns or spaceships
as growing brains are seething
with connections, hothousing memories.
They will return to something better than before.