The alarm cracks the curtains of my eyes
to a darkened room scattered with shadows
of a misspent yesterday, like a tangle
of dirty clothes left on the floor
to snarl my feet as I get out of bed.
The dark and I have been lovers for so long,
I now eschew most light until it’s necessary.
Why would I wish to leave her calm embrace
for that brassy glare of sun? I know my way,
not needing to count my steps anymore.
I can shower and shave like a blind man,
knowing the craze of hair on the mirror
and the whiskers at the bottom of the sink,
if I bothered turning on the light,
would show gray as the clouds hiding dawn outside.
The dark ones slide across the lighter ones
faster than I can walk. But, standing where I am,
they make me feel like I’m the one
doing the moving. Somewhere over there,
or maybe there, mourning dove calls
and no bright bird answers.
Darkness and the shroud of morning mist
can do that to you, steal context and scale
from your life. I break their spell
by heading out on the highway,
where all the cars’ colors still are muted
in shades of charcoal, steel and dirty snow.
And just about the only hue outside the gray scale
are the sightless red eyes of commuting cavefish,
strung out, halting, feeling their ways before me.