Before waking, I read poetry. My mind doesn’t fight the line breaks. I accept the likeness of a lung to a kite, tusks to moustaches, hair to fire. I accept my turning on the overhead.
I write before waking. Still wearing pajamas. Still with white sheets under my chin, I admit the solidity of what’s close: lips, water glass, yellow notebook, cup of pens, mirror. I take a table, take a lamp, take shoulders, take dandruff, take the ice-scraper and force open the morning’s eyes.
I escape the blanket to attend these hours, before school buses and the shutting door domino. I’m at the kitchen table, empathizing with my unzipped backpack’s sagging mouth.
I apologize to my bag. To bags within bags. The coin purse zipped in the hooked-shut pouch of my corduroy pants. The closed within the open. Coins lit only at purchase. Bright seconds before vending machine darkness.
I spread my copper and silver on the table so that no nickel ridge shadows no dime curl. Rather, so that each full face has hours to light, time before I gather the implements of exit: wallet, gloves, donut, shoes.
I wake early, slowly, for after herding the coins, closing the zipper, turning the doorknob, gripping the keys, my hands smell like metal.
Quinn White is a poetry student at Virginia Tech.