The Morning is an Empty Room

Coming into consciousness cold and slow,
Shaking off bedsheets, lifting up limbs,
We exhume ourselves from the ether
In procedures that need no appointment.

Cups arrayed in stark anticipation,
Water boiling, caffeine grinding, waiting
To chase away the embers of evening,
To excise the would-be’s and were-they’s? of dreams.

So awakened, a desk full of commitments—
Analyses that need analyzing,
Texts that seem to want to need dissection—
The species-being of an academic is in making things specious.

But the room stays quiet, quiet like night
Quiet like Christmas Eve when you were eight
Quiet like the sands of the Taklamakan
Quiet like the fog of the Tianshan
Quiet like the sound of distant oceans
Quiet like all memories in motion
Quiet like the fate of precious green jade
Quiet like it once was and will be remade.

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