My mac & cheese has plasticized
overnight; the fluorescent light’s
too bright as I set the noisy coffee pot.

I’m sipping bitter blackness by the window after showering,
my hair become familiar-clean and soft
as sunflower petals in the yard.

I have her hair, they say.
These walls are heavy; half-light hits them
so they flame in auburn, maybe beige,

the sepia burn of ancient photos and I’m filled
with dazzles of reflections, undervalued
and overstated, the glints of costume jewelry.

We drink coffee though it tires us,
we love our partners and in loving
we forget our work. Mother who loves me,

who shares my hair and made my lunches,
I’m alone and I don’t know
what to do with mornings.

Published in the July 6, 2018 issue: View Contents

John Linstrom is series editor of the Liberty Hyde Bailey Library for Cornell University Press. His poems and nonfiction have recently appeared or are forthcoming in Atlanta Review, the New Criterion, the Antioch Review, and elsewhere.

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