you can either wake up forcibly,
or with the world tugging at your eyelids
easing you out of bed, saying
“I want to show you something.
No, it can’t wait.
Hush, my love,
being awake is a great gift”
I let the world have its way
and the dawn dresses me
in patterns of shade
and pale light.
I let the morning coldness
creep against my skin
and with it comes silence
the silence of the calm after a storm
the sound of everything sleeping,
peacefully exhausted, and me
I soak it up, imagine my brain, my skin
as a sponge, and I become what I absorb
which is silence – I am very, very silent
even my thoughts are mute
and I climb the stairs in quiet leaps
and I don’t breathe till I’m in the kitchen
holding a chalk-stained kettle, and
running water from a broken tap
I pick up a mug, milk, sugar
and a crack of lightning tells me
the world is waking up.
I kiss my cup and sip the tea I know is perfect,
because I know every step of every moment it took
to make it. I embrace it with sleepy fingers
stare out windows at my own reflection and what’s beyond it,
and I try to imagine a world where
an exhausted October morning, wrapped in a cloudy blanket
with a new storm gathering isn’t absolutely magical
and finding it impossible.