Photo by Ilana Arougheti / North by Northwestern

I used to wake up at six in the morning and read,
Hours on end curled cat-solemn over a footstool
While baby hairs and high noon sun danced on the dog-eared pages.
I didn’t drink, I didn’t speak, only rocked back and forth
Until the sun went down and I drifted back to earth.
The only form of prayer I have ever known.
I tried to bring that back one day in quarantine.
Twelve hours, twelve novels, one bag of chocolate chips.
My legs kept cramping and I kept losing my place,
And the lights stayed on when the sky went dark,
And every time I came up for air,
Instead of lingering for a second in the soil of the world I had just seen,
Panic hovered in patient embrace.
I’ve lost my place in the clouds, I think.
I’m too sewn to the ebb of the real world now
To take my old pilgrimage
Away from time.