Winter fell like a hammer.
Days cut off at the knees.
Was this house always so dark?
Was that tree always so menacing?
The moon is swollen and seeps
into the clouds. A baby howls,
then a dog. Songbirds all gone silent.
What is that rustling in your chest?
It was Thursday when the doors closed
for good. I went home but couldn’t
sleep. Body accustomed to living
by starlight – rising at dusk, sleeping
at dawn. The cats and I keep
the same schedule. Nocturnal,
not lonely. I name the foxes
that shuffle through the garden.
I miss the sound of glasses clinking
in hands, dishwashers. Miss
the steamy windows. The jostling
for space. The smell of old beer
in hair, clothes. Miss
Friday nights and your hands
rolling cigarettes, waiting
for my break.
Now it’s always Monday, always
noon. Now my hands are
the only hands and
everything is already broken. No
cigarettes, just these few
empty rooms and a pair
of ceramic wrens silent
on the bookcase.
Kate Porter is a full-time bartender and part-time poet. She has been writing for years but has only recently begun submitting work for publication. This is her first publication outside her local paper.