By Katie Gergel

 

Twilight prepares for the arrival of the sun during

the fleeting moment when night blends into the next day

like paint spilled across a canvas –

distinct colors coalescing in a watery mix.

 

The line between night and morning is obscured,

and this is called the lonesome hour,

said to be the home of restless souls –

the time in which the only open eyes belong

to those closed off from the rest of the world

 

Those who dwell in the lonesome hour

have ribcages that grow into bird cages,

surrounding their bodies, invading their space;

preventing them from reaching out too far.

 

No one type of event causes this confinement.

The dwellers lead different lives, make different choices,

but are united when the windows are dark

and company is sought in malevolent meditation

 

Bad thoughts gurgle from the recesses of minds,

spewing out like dark ink that stains the cold air.

The dwellers try to staunch the flow of isolation;

they try not to think of those spending time with loved ones,

or sleeping without the feeling of cinderblocks on their chests

 

It’s hard, sometimes, not to get lost in your mind

when the world is so still you feel as though

the bat of an eyelid could shatter the bubble of silence.

The lonesome hour can be a scary place.

 

But this mental seclusion is never permanent.

The merging of days does not have to be sad,

and late night introspection does not have to depress.

The dwellers may even find answers despite

the usual hollowness of the lonesome hour

 

When light peeks in through the blinds in the morning,

the doors of the bird cages open.

It’s up to the dwellers to learn from their time;

to change some things before the next blending of days,

so that the nights no longer seem so lonesome.

So that the cage door doesn’t close again.