Woke up before the alarm

on my phone went off. In the past, I’ve tried to tell myself to go back to sleep, get the full set of hours allotted for rest. This morning, though, I felt like I needed to get out of bed.

In general, I am a morning person. But so much of that relies on the quiet and stillness of no one else in the world being awake. That was why I was such a night person, too, in high school. (And, always, didn’t get enough sleep.)

On this particular morning, I peeled a kiwi, chopped an apple, and sat at my desk, staring at my notebook trying to write a poem. There are things in my to-do list that need to get done. It feels like it should be summer, but it’s not. There was a moment when staring at the blank page I thought that the words were going to go stale. There is only so much you can write about inside. Maybe my mind, my imagination, will expand. I’ll discover entire rooms behind doors that will startle into existence. Or maybe I’ll be looking at walls and throwing paint on them, see what patterns emerge from haphazardness.

And I wonder if there will be a hard “after” to this pandemic, or if instead it will all be a series of soft disasters. If maybe one state will lift its shelter-in-place too early (in states where there’s even an order in the first place; Iowa WTF). If there won’t be a single moment where we can all reach out and hug one another, if people will ever stop wearing masks and gloves out in public. Will I feel the heat of the summer sun? Or will it all pass by me this year? Golden hour sunsets hard through my apartment’s west-facing windows, but there would be no warmth.

I hope you’re well, all. And I hope you have a good Monday.

Header image is from October 2019.

Published by Caroliena Cabada

Caroliena Cabada is a writer currently based in Lincoln, Nebraska. She earned her MFA in Creative Writing and Environment from Iowa State University, and is currently pursuing a PhD in Creative Writing, Fiction, from University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Her writing has been published in online and print journals and anthologies, and has been selected for Best Small Fictions 2021.

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