Like any good son, I stole
insomnia when she delivered me.
My cries kept the neighborhood
The night wind was my sunlight, the chorus
of birds my signal to sleep.
up believing I was a sinner. By
age nine, my record was one
without sleep. I could say it was my first
high—the visible world a
water in which I could baptize myself
to sleep. By nineteen, it was
What did I do? The same things I did when
I was sleeping: I went on
my days, drove three hours to the nearest
mountain, visited zebras,
and chimpanzees in their fake habitat.
I sensed they weren’t sleeping too.
blurred into dinners, dinners were just snacks.
When I told my friends of the
running in my family, I was told
to pray more. Repent. Read Psalms.
nine: five days without a meal or sleep. I
believed those who said my sleep-
was the wage of my sins. I was closest
to God then. A
I could’ve been—all the visions I’ve seen—
but who would believe me?
Jeddie Sophronius is the author of Interrogation Records (Gaudy Boy, 2024), Happy Poems & Other Lies (Codhill Press, 2024), Love & Sambal (The Word Works, 2024), and Blood·Letting (Quarterly West, 2023).