"Whose turn is it to watch for paradise?"
- Sarah Provence
First shake of daylight lets loose the hounds
of dark roast, growling in the grinder. Escorted
to the north panes of the bedroom a bright
blustery landscape drops by to affirm the hour of rise
and shine, shakes her shoulder twice more. She's no
ground hog seeking a shadow for six more weeks of sleep.
She's waxing gibbous across November with cirrus clouds
accreting in penumbra's halo where a shadow's a shadow
and a girl has to dream out the wrinkled blueprints
for birthing a season. Once seeded, she could
blame the warts of her temperament on splotched
indigestion from fetid sumac and green persimmons,
blame her impatience on the milky chains of water and earth
that wouldn't hold up their end of a bargain.
Millstones of great lakes, menses, horseshoe crabs,
frazzled lunatics tug at their mucilaged
tethers, her rise and shine dims; her gifts for epiphany long
retired to Miami, velvet gloves that cradled so many
sallow silhouettes have grown thin. Morning light
in winter, that cruel taskmaster, exposes
every naked line of forest and field. With no blood
to blush, best thing to do is shiver.
She prays for sleep, be it broken and shattered, wormy
with worry or deeply deltoid gliding along her orbit
on graphite bearings. Count on her keystones to keep
empty the space between dawn and daylight, the split seconds
past dusk. The moon may be capricious at heart, undecided
but count on her changing her tune thrice more -
once as the alabaster solstice climaxes across her belly
once more to meddle in milkshake skies,
and once to revive her robust hunger for pastels and perfume.
Listen to her croon on about neap tides, pomegranates
and February thunder and as she slips toward crescent,
her snores arousing clouds of offspring who forget
respect for the weary. Hounds loose, java grinding;
it's a ruckus promising paradise. This month
she'll settle for warm beer and ten winks.