« Joni Lee | Contents | Christina Olson »

Monica Wendel

Morning through Window


Outside our window, men walk by with limbs in their arms.

They are chopping down the hemlock trees while inside

we lie in bed, lentils simmering on the stove.

It is September. The sky ripples, and I reach my arm out to you.


To test airplanes for cracks, workers send sounds across them.

Other mornings, in the darkness of semi-sleep, I listened to the train

as it moved towards the city, and pictured my father stepping onto it,

reading the paper or dozing as it traveled under a river, surfacing in Midtown.


I want to say we belong in water, not in air. Even in the weeks

when the smoke settled over the river, we still counted the rats

on the 7 train’s tracks, gave them names, pictured them as commuters.

Down by Rockaway Beach stray cats do battle in the marshland near the runway

where the great metal bellies of planes lower themselves from the sky.


« Joni Lee | Contents | Christina Olson »