le mot juste
© 2008 michele may


3:17 a.m.

it's 3:17 a.m.
sleep was here
but left early.

too much to think about.
too much to feel.

so i turn on the light,
pick up a pen,
and pretend
to ignore the ache in my neck
caused by the ache
at the center of my chest.

there is a sound to the silence around me.
the refrigerator bellows,
floor creaks,
lightswitch snaps,
pen clicks and hums against the page.
but there are no voices.
no need for conversation
at this early hour,
or when you're alone.

my tiny apartment is chilly
at 3:17 a.m.
so i turn up the heat

but the wood beneath my feet
stays cold.