who are you fooling?

unmade bed in a dark room

Don’t Think
Elisa Gabbert

One way to fall asleep is paradoxical intention: trying not to fall asleep.

So the thinking goes, this reduces your performance anxiety.

The question is, who are you fooling, if you really want to fall asleep?

As if sleep were a performance for God.

The instructions on a sleep mask say, you still need to close your eyes.

I wish the pink light of sunrise lasted longer, the warm pink of in-between.

One way to fall asleep is to say Don’t think over and over to yourself.

The instructions say, try to practice it mindlessly.

In sleep, sleep becomes an everlasting interlude, an eternal in-between.

I read that staring into space “can help”—but can’t remember what it helps with,
thinking or not thinking.

Not thinking is the closest we can get to stopping time.

All I know of time is in my mind; my mind is all I know.

Only fifteen minutes ago, I had no idea it was going to snow.

And yesterday, and yesterday, what did we believe?

It’s so easy to forget, as if it were a dream.

The future wasn’t obvious.

And the old snow on the mountains that never would melt—it didn’t look real.

Photo by Quin Stevenson on Unsplash