By Angela Narciso Torres

Poems for Contemplation: "Insomnia Poem"

This summer The Well is featuring a series of poems by women. Ruth Goring invites you to approach them curiously and meditatively.

"Insomnia Poem"

by Angela Narciso Torres

Awake beneath an onyx sky you crack the blinds, inhale
night’s fading ink. The air is your mother’s breath on your skin,
the only steeple is the church of palms in the neighbor’s yard

dropping vermilion fruit on the grass. On another coast,
everyone you know is sleeping except for a boy you love.
In his body ticks a clock that matches yours. Darkness seeps

from the blades of palmetto the way water leaves your fingers
after a bath. To see the darkness, one must look darkly. Hours later,
this boy will feed his cat, perform his daily ministrations

like a mother. What is parenting but a prayer for one’s young.
Outside, the white ibis of dawn unfurls the potted mint,
its ribbons of scent. Son, your shadow lives in my eyes.

This poem was first published in Waxwing.

You can purchase Angela's work at her website.

Photo by Nature's Beauty from StockSnap.

About the Author

Angela Narciso Torres is the author of Blood Orange (Willow Books), To the Bone (Sundress Publications, 2020) and What Happens Is Neither (Four Way Books, 2021). Her work appears in POETRY, Cortland Review, and TriQuarterly. A graduate of Warren Wilson MFA Program and Harvard Graduate School of Education, she is a senior and reviews Editor for the literary journal, RHINO. You can find her at

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