• Shawn McNulty-Kowal

Bedtime Stories

Sometimes, when I cannot fall asleep at night, I lie on top of my bed sheets and I write down a story. 

A story of a conversation that stuck in my head like vines hang on buildings, a story of dancing with my mother, A story of a candle or a past lover. And I write until I feel tired, until my eyelids act as rope tightening around my eyeballs, and my limbs feel like floppy pieces of printer paper and all so quietly and all too suddenly, my legs are beneath heavy blankets and I am asleep. They say the pen is mightier than the sword. So I write down, as if it is challenge, “prove it.”


Other times, when I feel like I’d rather tell a story about heartache, about one-sided conversations with my dead grandmother, I wish that the bed sheets that cover me would act as earth. That I would finally get to see what lies beneath the dirt even when the sun rises.


Perhaps I would even write a story about what my tomb looks like – how the dirt feels colder at night. And as the sun rises, I fall – back asleep and I am asleep.

I am asleep.




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