“Make no mistake: everything has a variant. Like versions of truth, like versions of love, there are versions of sleep. The deepest sleep is meant only for children and perfect fools. Everyone else must pay each night her restless due.”
― Jill Alexander Essbaum
JAE is a poet as well and it definitely reflects in her writing. The above is a quote from
Hausfrau, her latest novel, and one that I am currently working myself through. I’m not the hugest fan of her poetry, my favorite being “Non Redibimus,” below,
We shall not come again, not to this wet
and summer day, nor to the waylaid place
where you laid waste to me and I to you,
and where we reminisced recalling who
did what to whom. We shall not come again.
Not to the bed we thrashed nor to the memory
of the way I brushed my hair back, nights,
nor to the air we dared to share to breathe,
or couldn’t quite. We shall not come again.
No more, my face seen round your corner, or
your briefcase found beneath my table. We
weren’t able, apt or sane. We shall not come
again. Nor cry nor clutch, not even once
again. We shall not cover up in quilts
or bear the beast of one another’s guilts
or sit in silences made saddest by
what was. We shall not come again. Because.
It has a great rhythm if you read it aloud, and I love these lines: “We shall not cover up in quilts/ or bear the beast of one another’s guilts/ or sit in silences made saddest by/ what was.”