To Fall Asleep

The boy was not a boy
but a sheep
                        in wolf’s clothing,

too afraid to show
the soft & fluffy edges
of his fleece.

He thought
in claws,
                        sharpened teeth,

taught himself
to only speak
with gruff & gravel,

to scream
at the moon
even though
                        it sparkled,

to never listen
to his instincts,

never travel
too far
from the pack,

never leap
or bounce,
                        field-frolic,

to pretend
it never happened—

those long & lonely nights
he’d accidentally start
counting

boys
to fall asleep.

Grant Chemidlin is a queer writer and poet living in Los Angeles. He is the author of two collections of poetry, He Felt Unwell (So He Wrote This) and Things We Lost In The Swamp. He’s been a finalist for the Gival Press Oscar Wilde Award, the Philip Levine Prize for Poetry, and is currently pursuing an MFA at Antioch University Los Angeles. You can find more of his work on Instagram: @grantcpoetry.

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