Morning is a drawn-in breath. Morning is
an old boat, drummed out of its mooring,
left to sink or drift. The dread inside the shell,
the mantle and its empty rainbow. The dawn shatters
lilac, lavender, the colors of an old woman’s scarf.
Just last night I dreamt I was older, my skin and hair
bleached in desperation, made late to my own wedding
by the madness of a flock of sheep, their white bodies
stretched down the road like an endless sky. I woke up
to darkness and felt relief. Then I remembered.
Morning breathes me like the weight of a cloud,
suspended in air despite its million pounds. Morning
floods my chest with something like light. Morning
is a ticking clock, the place where my face and the face
of my father merge in a composite of old man, oyster shell,
cloud full of rain, time too short to call anything mine.
I have 40 minutes until my daughter breaks into my room,
her body sticky with last night’s urine. I have 40 minutes
to dream I am holding the shell of dawn in my hands before
it is broken like a plate. It falls away too soon. It all falls away.