SUNRISE WITH SCAFFOLDING
What wakes me is not the usual
sudden burst (the sun:
yesterday’s dough repurposed).
This summer morning comes
with construction crews, thick
dust on their boots, crumbled mortar
speckling their shoulders.
On a suspended platform
they move across the window. The yellow pads
velcroed to their knees
a new kind of dawn.
Busy and helmeted,
correcting some flaw in the masonry, they
drill the wall beside my bed. They drill
the inside of my head. Inside my head, the world
vibrates, hums, crumbles.
Gravity is the will
to conform. Still, the human race has trained
even the spears of its buildings toward the sky as an act of resistance.
So too the trees break form.
Given the opportunity of a breeze
their million hands attempt flight.
But leaves only fly in death. And bricks
How should a person rise?
MRB CHELKO is the author of several chapbooks, including Songs & Yes and Manhattations, selected by Mary Ruefle for a Poetry Society of America Chapbook Fellowship. Her publications include Black Warrior Review, Cincinnati Review, Crazyhorse, Gulf Coast, Poetry International, and Slice. She lives in New York City and teaches in the low-residency MFA program of the New Hampshire Institute of Art.