After Chaos
by Ann White

She watches five paddles float overhead
wicker weave, slow speed, round and round.
Behind her, the wood-paned window
Two hours past dawn, she scraped it open
and heard the blue jays screaming.

Her bed is a portrait of chaos --
no edge within its confines,
one corner ripped from the mattress.
Folds and wrinkles scallop around
her form, waves like a watercolor.
Wrapped in the linens, a tee shirt
which reads: "Plays in the Dirt."

Hand limp across her chest,
toes pointing whichways.
She feels tiny echoes in the ears,
the liquid swallow clicks.
The weight of her light. She can hear air.

She casts her eyes
toward the green glimpse
of outdoors.

She breathes in clean,
shudders out
a long
of exultation.

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