by Jennifer Grotz
At its most dull before dawn, the sea's
a stubble field of light still covered with the moony film
pink dawn sponges away.
This is the hour when the moon is a fishhook
steadily pulled up out of the liquid sky
into some drier realm.
And the doves dart and crisscross as if bustling
to take their places on stage,
which does nothing to change that this is the hour
one laughs least. The hour of cold floors,
of pupils adjusting in the early light.
The hour waiting begins for something
one recognizes only after it's passed.
So while the blue of the sea blends with the horizon
I ask to understand the difference between silence and
indifference. I ask time to be wise as an editor,
not to elide this hour
when bakeries pile loaves
in the glass cases and cafés
reassemble their tables and chairs,
hour that converts night's regret
back into gratitude, beautiful hour
when the last few fishing boats sneak out of harbor
to retrieve the nets that wait at the bottom of the sea.