Cheaters, ghost crabs, children of divorce—
this is our truest hour. Not just because
it’s always dark, though that does help, darkness,
protecting our pale and fragile shells,
its silent gaping mouth so much bigger
than the bedroom window pane, always open,
never calling us close. Before the street
sweepers take the avenues, before the scaffolders
begin their dawnlight shifts. After the alcoholic
women have passed out in their slips,
and your father has Prozac-ed himself to sleep
wherever he lives now.
At 2:00 am, the world is ours to scavenge
no matter the season. There is always carrion,
for we are constant decay: Will I ever
be enough? Why do I hurt
so profoundly? Who
could fix us, and how soon? We eat
and we eat and we eat. One hour,
we hold it close, and it’s enough.
Gabrielle Bates is a Southern poet living in Washington State, where she is an MFA candidate at the University of Washington, associate editor for the Seattle Review, and twitter editor for Broadsided Press. She recently received a grant from The Awesome Foundation to complete her “Library Fairy” project, hiding homemade postcards in books all over Seattle. Her poems are published or forthcoming in Southern Humanities Review, Rattle, and Radar Poetry. Find her on twitter (@GabrielleBates).