wake up to bleary shadows. drag a mattress across the bedroom. wedge it through the threshold. lay it down on the kitchen floor while coffee brews. move to the couch when it’s ready. tell myself to stay awake. the mattress thrown askew at the edge of the rug. a rope leading from its corner to my ankle, layered knots my fingers can’t maneuver. take a sip. balance the mattress on my back with my backpack. fit it in the trunk of my car. close the door and walk around— the rope phases through the frame. lines blend with the headlights’ glow. the asphalt, visual white noise. turn the stereo up. stay awake. drag the mattress up two flights of stairs. hide it under my desk. nudge the corner in when coworkers come by to talk about weekend plans. hold firm as it pushes back. a river drone as I drag its edge across the parking lot. drive off without putting it in the car. it bounces on the road, thrashes in the wind. unharmed in the driveway. lean it against the coffee table while I eat dinner. scroll through twitter on my phone. a snake’s tail coils around my forearm, constricts. sigh, flick my thumb, take another bite.