Sleep is the gift of many spiders by Sean Denmark

after Carl Sandburg
Sleep is the gift of many spiders, but I
will be relentlessly polite. I thank each
arachnid as if hers were the most
considerate gift and I hadn’t already
a pile of sleep stuffed in a drawer
beside the muffin tins and salad forks.


Sleep is cheap. I’ve never asked for it.
I want a puppy, or hand-blown glass.
I see you in those corners, spiders,
each eye accusation. But you can fault me
nothing. Every one of you, within
the month, will have received a sincere,
individualized hand-written note,
no matter the ache of my fingers.
Just you keep checking the post.

Sean Denmark is a native of Alabama who now lives and teaches in New York City. His poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in Atlanta Review, Vinyl, Bellevue Literary Review, and other publications.