I’ve pressed the DOWN button

on sleep’s elevator,


but one cat walks the tightrope

of my headboard’s edge,


looking out the window

at satellites, deer, raccoons.


The other cat rolls jingly balls

along the hardwood hall.


The dog at my feet snores.

Doors won’t close.


Two hours, this elevator

is stuck between floors.




Joan Mazza has worked as a medical microbiologist, psychotherapist, seminar leader, and has been a Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net nominee. Author of six self-help psychology books, including Dreaming Your Real Self (Penguin/Putnam), her poetry has appeared in Rattle, Kestrel, The MacGuffin, Mezzo Cammin, Buddhist Poetry Review, and The Nation. She ran away from the hurricanes of South Florida to be surprised by the earthquakes and tornadoes of rural central Virginia, where she writes poetry and does fabric and paper art. www.JoanMazza.com.