Timekeeping: A Haibun

2 AM: strange cars circle up and down the neighborhood 
and its darkened streets. A lone streetlight shines through 
branches of the loquat tree in the widow's front yard. 
Whoever's not asleep is anxious or waiting; or if not waiting, 
then using time to fill spaces in the unread book open 
on their laps. How long has it been since door hinges 
sighed together, since water wheels slowed their revolution? 
At this time of year, the clock face registers its countdown 
to the artificial hour. We want to ink a feathery 
calligraphy on sheets so moths and ants can find 
their way to the warmth we make between our bodies. 
You want to rub the achy spot below the collarbone.
You want to crack an egg on the rim of a pan just to see 
its gold: aura of an unbroken sun cradled on 
a little cloud, the slow heat around it bubbling.

The first thing you see 
when you wake, the last thing
when you close your eyes.

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