On the kitchen table he's pushed back
salad bowl, toaster, salt and pepper shakers,
a Maginot line against sleep.
His pencil stutters its precarious
telegraph message on paper, repeating
the wall clock's morse of half-past one;
across the room the radio blares
its muted reveille. No use -
Already the calculator's numbers
are beginning to fray like streetlamps
in an evening mist, already his books
are eyelidded in a conspiracy
of fingerprints, already he feels himself
falling, falling, falling, falling
into the refrigerator's cyclopean snore.
Upstairs his bed waits destitute
among the train sets and soldiers,
cold and unembraced, a forgotten lover
staring at the ceiling, marking time
by the spider's trembling geometry.