nocturne for a nine to five

Graphics by Amy Hoang
March 28, 2024

the future as glasses 
fogged up. the future as swimming 
pool flooding into leaky goggles. as contact 
lenses migrating to the back of your
eye, wearing opacity
like a coat: the 9:00 pm mist 
draped around the bowed shoulders 
of the I-5. cars sliding across the interstate 
like marbles on an abacus. the future, a telephone tower flashing green, 
red, whatever sinks your ship, and all 
i do is look through old messages
instead of sending new ones — what do i know 
about the future
except the tap of fingers 
on steering wheels, bits of asphalt 
skittering across the hour.
headlights blinking the blindness away
on, off, on and on and on—

maybe every marble is going 
somewhere, even if it’s just the bottom
of the ocean. and the flowers
on the window sill are wilting, 
but one of these days i'll pull up 
the blinds like a flag and light will 
leak into my room, glazing every dead petal 
with a golden sheen: 5:00 AM, and
the sun is coming up.

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