by Christine Arumainayagam
The city awakens to the rumbling
of highway traffic in the distance.
Sunlight pours in, slanted,
groping, and fills this house
with shadows that rotate
in sync with the minute hand
on the grandfather clock. It chimes:
The boy in the next room yawns
and bangs his knuckles on the wall
while he’s stretching.
It makes you jump.
For once the birds are quiet.
Your heart lies in your palm, twitching,
twitching, and it mesmerizes you
for a moment; but then you lay it
on the bedside table,
pull yourself out of bed by the ankles,
and set some water to boil.