Some words for this morning
I open the front door, walk into the blue-gray, the warm, the damp. A gossip of birds all talking at once, full-voiced. Two women at the bus stop—each from a different country—exchange stories in stuttered phrases and unsure hand gestures. Has anyone yet alchemized the precise words for the sound of cars slicking their way down wet asphalt? I pump my way down my stretch of Sligo heading to the Metro—the police station with its perpetually overgrown grass, a squat shingled house newly blueberry except for one wall of its back porch, the corner house with its vegetable garden spilling onto the sidewalk and sometimes women’s panties and a stuffed animal drying on a washline. Other commuters zoom past on feet working harder than mine, but the metaphor here is too easy, too untrue. Skeletal trees lie against wet sky like lace, branches prematurely roughening with buds on this day too warm to belong to February. I repeat these details to myself over and over as I walk, each step a sentence. There will be no other morning just like this one—reason enough to hold onto it even if nothing has happened, even if I’m just a woman on her way to work, even if this is not the last morning.