3 a.m.

By Madi Zanardelli 

I’m Afraid to sleep, 

I’m not scared of the dark 

It’s not a fear of dreaming.

I’m Afraid to wake up.

to start another day 

to repeat another cycle 

I’m Afraid to rise in the morning. 

to drudge through another formless day  

to scramble through school, lost in a screen 

I’m Afraid to be one day closer. 

to the due date, deadline, test 

to the event, meal, missed gathering 

closer to the end. 

I’m Afraid to postpone another day’s work

to be reminded of what has yet to be accomplished 

of what should have been done 

of what isn’t being done

I’m Afraid to open my eyes. 

to see the failed work of yesterday 

to see the endless imperfections 

I’m Afraid to let go of tonight 

to fall into a restless daze

only to wake up to the next day 

I’m Afraid to sleep.