Morning Routine by Lydia Unsworth
Things continue to be in the last place you look. My phone tells me it is raining when my cheeks say it isn’t much. I sleep in a ditch and hear the car go past. We walk through the midnight sunlight. Nothing ends. The ground is on fire. A line of latitude lies beside ourselves, and keeps. My regrets involve islands, my regrets involve not arriving by boat.
We named the things we could see and I wanted to text history and tell them about it: that we still had the same instincts when the environment allowed. I beat a path with a stick, crossed to the sea on the opposite side. I wrote my name in the sand and it stayed; things were permanent, the seasons repeated then. None of this where am I, has the celebration been or is it coming, is this spring or autumn, why are the leaves on the ground? Am I napping or is this a full night of sleep? Is there somewhere I’m supposed to be? How long is this darkness and what does it mean?
The child wakes up and so we know it is anyway morning, somewhere between 4:00 and 7:00, and we are grateful for that at least.
We are able to deduce the time if we can first recall the country and then the motive.
What were we wearing? Who did we perceive?
Lydia Unsworth is the author of two collections of poetry: Certain Manoeuvres (Knives Forks & Spoons, 2018) and Nostalgia for Bodies (Erbacce, 2018), for which she won the 2018 Erbacce Poetry Prize. Her work can be found in Ambit, Pank, Litro, KillAuthor, Tears in the Fence, Banshee, and Sentence: Journal of Prose Poetics, among others. Based in Manchester/Amsterdam. Twitter @lydiowanie