I like the 4 a.m. feedings best, tilting
the rocking chair back and forth
with my toes, observing how the invisible
lines of our dark yard rest against
the lines of other yards—of other lives.
Before the sun rises, this small wedge
of the world momentarily in agreement:
everyone on this block wishing for sleep,
for peace, for the coming day to be better
than the last. I like thinking how the grass
growing a thousandth of an inch every
fifteen minutes is celebrating something
as I celebrate solving small mysteries
like learning that a red fox is the one who
flattens the path through the lawn.
Mainly I like pretending I am the only one
awake, the only one seeing the world
at this instant. The navy sky, thick as blood,
is my blood, as the fracture of stars, bright
as raw bone, is my bone. I like being
reminded that we all began in dark and stars,
that the carbon, nitrogen and oxygen
in our bodies was created 4.5 billion
years ago in another generation of stars,
that somehow if we could weigh the sun,
all rising 418 nonillion pounds of it,
we’d see that strength is never needed
to begin the day. No, it’s something else.
Behind every square of light flipped on,
someone is standing or slouching, stretching
or sighing, someone is covering her face
or uncovering it, someone is thinking,
Today, I will I will I will….