You wake slowly, like an orchestra
tuning up. A twitch of a limb, slowly
counting time; a stretch, you are the bow
slowly drawn, the reed finally pliable.
The light draws notes on your skin.
When you finally unwind your body, your
mind slips back into its gloom, a melancholy
curled around itself, your nautilus, your
hardened shell. Morning wrings the sky out,
lightening it to snail-shell blue. Notes strung
along boughs by birds protect you past
these still hours of dawn. You always
resist waking — knowing some unknown score
is already written, anticipating you.
Andrea Janelle Dickens is originally from the Blue Ridge Mountains and now lives in the Sonoran Desert, where she resides among the sunshine and saguaro cacti. Her work has appeared in New South, Ruminate, and The Wayfarer, among others. When not writing poems, she’s making pottery in her ceramics studio or tending hives of bees.