On a warm August morning two years ago
I walked alone through the streets of
the largest city in my experience, secure
in the knowledge that I was twenty-one
and therefore nothing could hurt me, nothing
was permanent. It was 5 A.M. on a Saturday morning,
which is about thirty minutes after Friday night
has truly ended and everyone has gone home.
The first train whisked beside me
into the lightening east, and I remember feeling
incredibly foolish yet incredibly happy, because
I was in the heart of the city, my city, and for once
there was nothing for miles but silence.
Mornings have always been better for me
because so few people seem to like them. If I were
the running sort I’d take myself for a jog
with my music and pepper spray (because, at twenty-three,
I am no longer invincible.) As it is, I check the news,
feed the cats, fry an egg or two. The building awakens
around me. In this fragile silence,
unique among all the silences I have found,
I am never alone. Sometimes I pass another
morning person on the stairs, and we make eye contact,
perhaps nodding briefly to one another,
as if to say This sunrise is the best one yet.
This is the time when we belong.