Ghazal of Sleep · Mark J. Mitchell

Ah, it’s Good Friday night and I’m going to write what I want.
— Jack Kerouac, The Vanity of Dulouz

Comfortable fog wraps the city. It sleeps
uneasy. Low horns rumble through sleep.

She called out your name, didn’t she?
You don’t understand her words in sleep.

Mornings drop, pink and silent, through a tree.
She rolls over and dives back into sleep.

You’re flat on your back trapped in the mystery
of this ghazal. You won’t be going back to sleep.

From outside the aroma of new coffee
leaks in, tempting you from the love of sleep.

Cities crumbles. Walls fall. The fog will flee.
Breathe in the marks that guide your sleep.

Mark J. Mitchell’s novel, The Magic War is published by Loose Leaves Publishing. He has been a working poet for forty years. He lives with his wife, the activist and documentarian Joan Juster making his living pointing out pretty things in San Francisco. A meager online presence can be found at