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Incessant, the two notes of the kitchen
clock. The hum of appliances at rest.
Too early for the street sounds on our block.
The chair creaks a complaint. I take the first

careful sip of coffee. And Niko says, “Sweet
little bird,” from his covered cage. He wants
to greet the dawn. Not me. A workday, so I woke
to the phone’s bleat, to dark and chill and her

still gone. I wanted to stay in the warm,
strange scenes of dreams: on Rue Royale, a green
and purple mask; or, dodging heavy traffic,
a small gray cat I caught and calmed against

my heart—its frantic tick-tock winding down,
this clock that keeps best time without alarm.

Marisa P. Clark Marisa P. Clark is a queer writer whose prose and poetry appear or are forthcoming in "Shenandoah," "Cream City Review," "Nimrod," "Epiphany," "Foglifter," "Free State Review," "Rust + Moth," "Texas Review," "Sundog Lit," and elsewhere.

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More from Issue 5: Winter/Spring 2022


Picture of Spring

by Adalena Kavanagh


“Law of the Letter,” “My Wife Falls Asleep to Friends and It Streams All Night,” and “Quabbin Reservoir”

by Elizabeth Galoozis