The hour in which I lie awake

is the hour that stretches, clock face that warps and bends over the table edge. It is the cliff over which I peer at the river that boils three hundred feet below, not knowing if the brown and green specks on its banks are bushes or huts or villages where families are making dinner over a fire or unpinning clothes from the line. Restlessly I shift from side to side, flipping the pillow over, kicking the coverlet away. From this distance, in the darker than sepia-tinted dark, I cannot tell if the muffled sounds I hear are from coal trains crossing over the ridge or from a nuclear plant exploding; or if a cloud the color of crows has begun to wrap bandages around the moon and now whole nations have begun to panic.

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