The birds aren’t s’posed to sing at night
but it’s 9:39
and I swear I heard the birds
It wasn’t just because I had been singing a song myself in tune
for the first time since my early 20s and its late at night for me

I looked up at the sky
and it glittered like I was in the middle of a snowglobe
but they painted the outside walls with glue
and rolled the whole world in stars
It’s stopped snowing now
One last fall
to end them all for this season
I was just a child
arranged to marry winter
long before I’d feel the heat of the sun
toasting my skin from
golden honey to chai brown
and I loved it
I never thought I’d curse the sight
of flurries in late February
not until I decided
I would only marry for love

I stopped singing
I’m only thinking
I never stop thinking and I learned to control my thoughts
so that thinking so much isn’t much too much anymore
(but who’s asking anyway?)
On the wall
the fireplace is humming
the tip of my pen
scratching on paper
I pretend I’ll be calm
if scratching on my roof or inside my walls
interrupts the silence tonight
I said these walls are mine but that’s
my second lie
Across my chest it says
“Every space is rented and we live on borrowed time”
and I wrote that on the floor of a bathroom
between four more walls
which, were also
not mine

And with every passing second
I’m running out of time
but I only ever have
for it to be too little
or too much
so I’d rather take 20 minutes
to talk about
the stars
and how they glow like
the universe belongs to me
and it’s shining for only me to see
and it’s foolish
but so is hearing the birds at night
not the owls
the ones who always sing in tune
in the mornings when I’d rather sleep
even though 9:59 has gotten late for me

I dragged my feet
this whole winter
as night got longer and days got emptier
and I did everything I could to make it go faster
but the days were too long and the nights,
don’t even get me started on silence
when all I ever wanted - 

I didn’t learn how to stop time
Or how to stop worrying about it
Only that nothing and nobody
is ever mine

So when I swear the birds are singing
at 10:09
I’ll take the interruption
the reminder that magic
still lives in the sky
even if all of it
is only in my mind

© Mary dela Torre, 2017