P—W  V° 01:05

Early Afternoon

by Patrick Yang Macdonald

A yellow block is on our blanket
like a slice of butter on white bread, and
Seung-a’s arm is stuck in it.

We are watching the ceiling together.
I’m counting the speckles as if
the number will help me understand

something about why ceilings
are spackled like popcorn rather than
flat like the wall or the floor.

Butter is solid. We are the
melting ones—a calf becoming a thigh,
a palm becoming fingers.

My hand becomes her stomach,
my mouth becomes her cheek and ear,
dust mixed in a breeze.

Lunch did this to us. No, the walk in Prospect
Park did, marching our legs left, right, left,
right. We went to the park

to find reasons in the grass, the holly,
the algae water, the fallen sweetgum balls,
reasons to keep ordering our chaos.

But we came back and laid on the bed
after taking off our dirty clothes, hiding
from God underneath our blanket.

We took a hidden nap, the kind
where we close our eyes in order to sleep
instead of work—which looks just like

closing them to find an answer—
and wake up to the moon with cold toes,
wondering if this is our bed

or if we’ve been given another chance
at childhood, to do things the correct way,
just how Mama taught me.

We hear the sound of running water,
kitchen sounds, sweeping sounds, and saw
that we were still beside one another.

A dream? We woke up again, this time
to God, a yellow block on our coffee table
reading the cover of one of our books.

2021 © P.Macdonald