Abecedarian for New Parents by Keith Leonard

A sleep as sure as wall studs.
Breath checked with a compact mirror sleep.
Concrete sleep. An all-night,
dug-in clamshell sleep. A deep,
embryonic sleep.
Foldable sleep. You will not
get any of these. You will not
have help in the way you will need help.
I’m sorry. I am not the accountant of
just practices, and the scales are off-
kilter. According to the research, you will
lose 109 minutes of sleep every night.
Multiplied, that’s 15 days of the year.
Notoriously conservative. I wish for you a
power-outage at the casino sleep,
quiet mornings, outfits unstreaked with sweet
retch. There is a type of
sleep so dense it blackholes.
The throne of God lurches an inch.
Unfortunately, it won’t be yours. It takes a
village, and the village is empty at 2AM.
Want will have led you to meander in moonlight, your
Xerox quiet once again in the stroller.
Yes, it’s worth it. Look at us shuffling along,
zombies half-alive on love.

Keith Leonard is the author of the poetry collection Ramshackle Ode (Mainer/HarperCollins, 2016). His poems have appeared recently or are forthcoming in The Believer, New England ReviewPloughshares, and elsewhere. Keith has received fellowships from the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, the Sewanee Writers’ Conference, the Sustainable Arts Foundation, and the Ohio Arts Council. He lives in Columbus, Ohio.