Morning Eats Its Hinges
Maurice Oliver

Thin glints of land on the horizon.

And briefly I’m prompt. But by noon it’s
nowhere near. So the three yellow boxes
marked X get the all-clear from air
traffic control. Wind picks up to stir
the slate-blue feathers. Invisible hands
guide a mop across sun-lit floors. A
Taj Mahal replica no bigger than a
tea pot causes a crackle out of Alaska
that sounds almost religious. Flowers
fossilize in the ice tray. Dog puke.
Razor stubble. This scenario lasts just
long enough to picture—a question mark
rolled up like a condom, three cleaning
ladies in green smocks, a week’s vacation
on some unidentified Cuban beach. The
whole notion makes me anxious, til I’m
half-convinced I’m Michael Jackson wearing
just day-glow socks in the snow. I panic.
Still, somehow I manage to stumble upon
the PRIVATE sign hanging from a bolted
iron gate, just before I freeze to death.
Unable to go any further, I wake up and
blink. Then I begin to consider...

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