Morning Coffee

Harris woke to the scent of frying bacon, birdsong, and early-morning sunlight. He blinked his eyes, trying to adjust to the light from the window Linda had thrown open.

“C’mon, get up!”

Harris pulled the blankets over his head. Linda sat down on the bed, pulled the blanket back, and gave him a kiss on the nose. “If you wait too long, breakfast is going to get cold!”

Harris smiled as Linda pulled the sheet back, putting up only a token resistance as she hauled him out of bed. “Alright, alright.” Harris pushed himself to his feet and hugged his wife. “You win.” After putting on his bathrobe and new slippers, he followed his wife’s singing down the stairs to the kitchen. He watched as she flipped pancakes for a moment and then started making coffee. Five minutes later, they were eating.

“I’ve got a few errands to run, Harris, but I’ll be back shortly after one.”

“Alright. I’m going to work on getting our taxes filed after I clean up here. Should be done before you’re back.” He smiled at Linda.

He lifted his mug to take a sip, but the handle slipped in his hands and hot coffee poured into his lap. Even as he leapt out of the chair, part of his brain pulled at him and, instead of a coffee stain on his robe, he was looking at his bedroom.

The shades were drawn and the window was closed. The air smelled faintly of sweat. He looked around his room and tried to see it as he had when he was still asleep. He tried to remember his wife as she had looked that morning, but all he could remember was how her face had looked when she handed him the divorce papers later that day.

Moments of Quiet

It is these moments of quiet,
As my brain creeps toward sleep,
That keep me up at night.

The time before is calm and soft:
Full of lingering traces of all
I have accomplished that day
And everything I desire to do
When I wake on a brand new day.

The time after is strange and quick:
Full of half dreams lost to me
As soon as their story has ended
And small movements that feel fast
As my body begins to slumber.

During, though, there is only silence.
I am left with the darkness of my room
Mirroring a darkness inside of me
I can only manage to drive away
With things that would keep me from sleeping.

During these moments of quiet,
I am the captive audience of my fears
And every single thing that went wrong
During any day I can remember
Plus a few more I had once forgotten.

It is no wonder I do not sleep well
When I cannot bypass these moments
Without crashing from awake to asleep.