There is a distraught boy at my bedroom door at 4 a.m.
He’s been up since 2, he says.
Which is fine, because I’m also awake,
deciding whether I might have caught ebola on the plane.
We decide to curl up in his bed
and pretend to sleep,
hoping to trick our bodies
into believing this is night.
Then: If you could have a giraffe,
but a polka-dotted giraffe, not a normal one,
land on your head,
but it wouldn’t poo on your head,
just land there,
and you could keep it as a pet,
would you want it?
Wouldn’t I have a brain injury,
after the giraffe landed on my head?
Fine. Then yes, I’d like a giraffe pet.
Now I think we should stay here quietly
and pretend to sleep.
Was that your tummy rumbling or mine?
Maybe we should have a bowl of cereal,
and then pretend to sleep.
Would you want your face on Mount Rushmore?
At 6 a.m., he is snoring
but I am still thinking of stone faces
and polka-dotted giraffes.