The Way Light Falls at Four in the Morning by Ann Walters

This is not a question of light or dark,
of shadow or unshadow.

This is not air on skin. An open window
through which trees can be felt breathing,

a wall, solid against the back, or a pillow tossed aside,
useless for comfort, pointlessly malleable.

This is no palm to the forehead, no
taut muscle at the base of the jaw.

Not the moment when the phone call comes
and every fear is met, but the one after,

when the phone falls and the breath taken in
has not yet been let out.

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