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27| Sleep Apnea

Maia Gil'Adi

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Lo! thus, by day my limbs, by night my mind,
For thee, and for myself, no quiet find.

—Sonnet 27

It is hard to remember now. But if you think about the cases it will bring the image of the boy. The one who lived next door that summer you were seven or eight. The one who collected butterflies. Look at the cases. There are multicolored butterflies in them. A pin holds each through the middle, their wings spread, showing symmetrical patterns. They are so quiet and delicate and almost translucent behind the glass. You let your face get close to them. These are his, the boy’s. He must have been older. He already knew how to play the violin. You climb the brick wall in the early morning on Sundays. You spend the day together playing in the garden, lying in the hammock, touching feet. You take the steps in-two to his room. You open the door with care. There are butterflies in cases here too. His gaze is tender toward them, hushed. They are so delicate and paper-thin. You wonder how it would feel to be that fragile; so fine and easy to break. Turn, turn this way, you would think. His face so close to the butterflies he could almost kiss them.

Maia Gil'Adi is an English PhD student at the George Washington University. Her research is in late 20th century and contemporary Latino Studies and Literature, focusing on notions of spectrality, monstrosity and haunting.

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