In the hours before dawn,
the clock isn’t a clock,
it’s a dim recognition
of light cast on time.
I wake up this time,
beg to fall back asleep.
Fear I cannot root a dream
to the soil of my exhaustion.
I wonder how many jam jars of words I could fill by morning—
how many jars of hot blood I contain,
how many jars of self-doubt,
how many jars of tired, of ache,
of unexacted possibilities?
My slick heart could slip neatly into a jar—
an unbecoming place for my devoted metronome,
the beat of blood defying gravity,
its final rhythms thump against the glass.
River Elizabeth Hall is a poet, short fiction writer and naturalist. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Cirque, Into the Void, Sunspot Lit, and Tinderbox Poetry Journal among others. She was a semi-finalist in the 2019 Brett Elizabeth Jenkins Poetry Award.