John David Muth

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Hard to Sleep

We never hold each other
while we sleep
because the beating of my heart
disturbs her.
She compares it
to a psychotic gremlin
beating a drum
again and again.

No woman has ever said this
to me before.
Most of them have liked my heartbeat
at least at first.
Then, they want it to stop.
Sometimes, by natural means.
Sometimes, impaled
by a fireplace poker
or a shard of steering wheel.

I have often thought
the same about them.


John David Muth was born and raised in central New Jersey. For the last seventeen years, he has been an academic advisor, working for Rutgers University. Some of his poems have appeared in San Pedro River Review, Verse-Virtual, and US 1 Worksheets. His latest book, Inevitable Carbon (Aldrich Press), was published in 2017 and can be found on