This morning is mine.
My glasses are folded in my purse, asleep
in their case, and to my nude eye, the distance is blurry––
the nearby girl tucking her hair
into a braid, the scant fluttering yellow
I suppose is November wind. And here I am,
at the library, in a chair by the wall,
between windows, dodging the downpour
of white light. The sun
is a cup of coffee, turned over, spilling heat upon the earth.
But Hephaestus has forged this wall as a shield
By the time noon makes its perch at the zenith,
my family will be here. They’ve made a seven-hour trip to visit me.
When they arrive,
my time will belong to them.
I will put my glasses on
to see the changes in my sister’s face.
I’m certain there will be some new, shining
composition––altered eighth-notes on her skin
where she smiles, where she
cries. Maybe my brother
is taller again, defying
my commands. I am afraid
of how white my mother’s hair will seem.
I capture this hour like a lightning bug in my hand.
Its antennae tickle my palm. I seal my fingers
tightly, nails hard
in flesh. Something urges the hour outwards––worries
like a porch light, a center of gravity into which
it might plunge. But I will not permit it.
Although it writhes, it is safe.
Although I pant, I breathe.