Dawn breaks on the quiet countryside.
The nightlife ghosts shuffle away to their daytime hideaways.
The strand of oak, bough of pine,
crevice of cypress.
The final inhalation of night.
The early bird janitorial crew wakes and makes sounds
to each other as the sun spreads across
the quivering Bahia yard. It drinks up the dewdrops
and straightens the fenceposts with kindness as it finds error.
The sun finds me, too, naked again, on the porch
and seeks to stretch my skin taught against my frame.
I scrape a toe callous across the brick of the porch step.
It is Wednesday the nineteenth.
It is 6:27am and I am grateful to be here.
As the morning mist unravels in the exhalation
and the crows set to work aerating the soil,
my attention drifts to the breeze and how I can nearly taste October on it. A red-tailed hawk observes this scene as well,
unbothered by the fettering mockingbird,
patiently waiting for the over zealous rabbit
or the confused field mouse to make itself apparent.
The girl in my bed routinely suggests coitus
on mornings such as these, with crispy autumn leaves drifting down outside the window. Which begs to be painted, white chips peeling in the dry fall air, but she says leave it --
she likes to pick them out of the flowerbed
after we ram the bedframe against the interior.
She likes to keep them.
Instead, this morning she’ll settle for bacon and eggs without much complaint. Although she will leer at me murderously
from behind her mustachioed cup of creamed coffee. She won’t tolerate my advances afterward, either --
insisting on her lateness, or mine,
or the cat pawprints
on the hood of her car.
She’ll hum through my comments
about the sunlight, the dew, my personification of the hawk.
She looks over the top of her phone when I mention ghosts, but happily returns to scrolling when she realizes I’m full of it.
And so, then, off we go.
Each with a bushel, and a peck, and a hug around the neck.
The quiet morning has been ruined. Although I tried, I failed to grasp it in its totality, failed to convey to you its extreme beauty.
It lies at our feet in shreds.
I know I will never have
a morning like this again,
not exactly like this,
and I’ve let it slip away.