Hot Metal Bridge

Current Issue : Number Twenty-Five

At Daybreak


It’s very strange,
the gray laundry light of morning,
some molecule inside me
dying with this regrettable dawn.
I step lightly to silence
the floorboards’ dull groans
and open with a hinge-creak
a cupboard in the kitchen. It’s very strange,
the coffee mugs huddled so close
together, how the spaces between them
seem to exclude us. We’ve shoved
them closer
to make room for more,
but the space we’ve created
borrows air from the cupboard
like morning
stealing light from the blind.
It’s very strange
to imagine light stifled by air
inside a dark space, or the sound
of a cell wall collapsing,
stranger still to find
the peeled banana’s blue sticker: 100% perfection!
spinning like a maple seed
almost to the floor,
where a sudden gust carries it like smoke
upward toward the open door.

Daniel Berkner teaches in the Department of English at the University of Idaho in Moscow, and has recently completed his first book-length poetry manuscript. He plans to get a good night's rest.