Sam Ross

In fact science does not
distinguish between falling asleep
and waking. Scientifically

they are one phenomenon, each
with the capacity to paralyze.
There's rigor mortis

and then the hypnic twitch,
a lyric of imminent collision.
If there's a difference it isn't

empirical. Imagine somewhere
in the aviators’ graveyard—
a billion splinters of glass planes

or the shards of a broken jaw.
What would the mouth say
if it weren't wired shut?

I tripped one day and became
certain as a train making its way
under the riverbed. It was years

before the feeling abated,
when our engine made a sound
I’d never heard before.