Ellen Lutnick

i’ve been flirting with insomnia recently

i’ve been flirting with insomnia recently / all my other first dates have been far too focused on what my favorite food is / fucking potatoes / at least sleeplessness paints my dreams awake / the colors bleed fever / and flashback hands print my back a canvas / that type of tired that sends your nerves screaming / and you twitch under the comforter / you know / of course you do / i’ve been trying on the slippery edges of my brain / they taste like kiwis on a tongue burnt from too-hot tea / and cold showers are the best way to get clean / that type of chill that tracks needles in your creases / sometimes i feel like screaming / it’s impossible to satisfy the silence / but given the right audience and crazy gets a standing ovation / wanna see a magic trick? / i haven’t slept in 82hrs and when you move your edges smudge / i could pull lighting out of your core / but maybe you’d rather have a rabbit / something a little softer than unraveling oil paints and razorblade brain waves / the edges of the ocean are tipped in silver / and there’s a cure for tetanus at the bottom of a bottle of tequila / at least the picture is pretty / when it isn’t moving / that type of still that burns like a breath held in too long / we’ve all got at least one story like that / an ember stomach-lung / no it’s not like heartburn / don’t touch my fucking french fries / i can finish them myself / without your help / i’m fine / or you’re too normal to tell the difference / i was never that / but i don’t envy you / only your REM cycle / and i’m sick of apologizing / so don’t forgive me for inviting you awake / listen / if i’m not making sense / blame the sandman / blame the rabbit / blame your starch ears and my stark tongue / blame the story / is this a story? / is this even my story to tell? / is this your story? / do you want this story? / will you take these words? / do you take this woman? / have you ever taken a woman? / did you even ask? /


Ellen Lutnick is a medical student at the University at Buffalo. She has previously been published through the Cringe-Worthy Poets Collective and EMP Press. She spends a lot of her free time running, and eating French fries, and running because she likes eating French fries.