Self-Portrait &/ Or Aubade With Is It Morning Already?

Take me back to the room

rusted shut, the door locked by a night we once

entered & never returned from. Trace my palm

like your grandmother’s softened &

papery hands—where the touch of your finger-

tip blots the ink of your name. Tell me

what do you see, darling?—is all I say. Show me

how my hands carry a world you just found in the dark

of your eyes. Though this is only the first

night. A night where the walls are made of nothing

but air. A city under your feet like daylight held

inside the bones. You are a body that won’t, that can’t

shiver, telling my body to hold still. & there are

no ghosts here. Darling—another night, our mouths

will hold a single shard

of your history—a shared wet crush between

the lips like prayer while the shadows in the room

ripple into someone’s tomorrow. Any

tomorrow. Any war to run from.

Any distant life you ended up finding

yourself inside of. Now here, as dawn fails

to bloom from this single candle-

lit room, every door in the hushed city

opens. Like every morning

you wake up to.




                        – for T. C. 


Michael Wasson is the author of This American Ghost (YesYes Books, 2017), winner of the Vinyl 45 Chapbook Prize. He is nimíipuu from the Nez Perce Reservation in Idaho and lives abroad. 

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