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  • Mornings are about stillness punctuated by little bird feet tapping on the roof of the water tower. They land and bounce their feet in three beats. It sounds like a muted version of a finger tapping on a can of beer to keep the fizz down before cracking it open. Mornings are looking up at the warped photo booth picture of him and I when we were just kids. The strip of photos is taped to a psychedelic painting that I tore out of a magazine back in Ypsilanti, Michigan. It hangs from a piece of chicken wire that I poked through the paper and dangled over the blue hook. First thing in the morning, I look across the bed at that photo strip, and briefly flash on that lusty and insecure first or second or third trip to Montreal. I forgot to date the back, but our faces and poses have evolved tremendously since then. After I look at the picture, I look over at the face of the beautiful sleeping man, who was such a boy back then. I smile remembering that though it feels brand new and ancient, we grew up together, and into ourselves in front of and because of one another.

  • Mornings are a slur of unscheduled ritual. Smoothies and sprawling, sweet or savory breakfast: one that requires chopping and the de-stickering of fruit, gnawing on fleshy pits and toasting almonds, or one that requires heating up the oven, slicing potatoes, warming tortillas, pressing garlic, and shaking on some vinegar and spice. Mornings are about decisions, my favorite kind of decisions: grinding coffee and brewing it so the whole house, even the wooden walls jolt awake, or steeping some tea with torn up lemongrass, basil, and mint to more subtly welcome the day. Mornings are emptying the dishwasher while listening to podcasts. They are for stretching and splashing my face with cold water. They are for writing in cozy clothes, cuddling with the windows open, and staying naked for as long as possible.

  • Mornings are for stoop sitting, future envisioning, and new bee hive observing. They are about dead heading the droopy shriveled leaves from the big arrangement of succulents and making sure the chickens have food and water. They are about fog and one leg freed over the top of the comforter with one arm dangling off the side of the bed. Mornings are about him reaching around for a rogue Chapstick tucked somewhere on the side of the mattress, and reaching for a big mason jar of water and gulping it down. Mornings are for stretching my palms towards the ceiling, looking up at them, and remembering when Satja told me I had starfish fingers. They are about reaching for my phone, and then remembering that the evening before I told myself to stop beginning my mornings looking into the lives of others, and outwardly validating my own. I want to begin my day in quiet, because it’s sacred, and for now, it’s mine all mine.

  • Mornings I see dust and spider webs and piles of incense ash and papers. I see socks and pants scrunched at the end of the bed. Mornings I see computer cords strung out and slung across floors and over record crates and around the thick legs of the futon. Mornings are for confronting late night choices and setting new intentions, and then forgetting about them and losing myself in the moment or in a habit. Mornings are for remembering my dreams and spitting them out with my eyes half closed and my face tattooed with a map of my sleepy imprints, while pressing myself against his warm back. Mornings are for mourning another day gone to memory, another day gone to seed.

    Music by the Ethiopiques.

    Written for my Monday post on Literary Traces (

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