at night i listen to their phantoms
shouting in my ear
shaking me out of lethargy
issuing me commands
i think of their tattered lives
of their feverish hands
reaching out to seize ours.
it's not that they're begging
they're demanding
they've earned the right to order us
to break up our sleep
to come awake
to shake off once for for all
this lassitude.

claribel alegria, nocturnal visits