Dawn’s Sepulchre
Nell DiPasquantonio

I had never sought the dawn.
It passed me often, begrudgingly
Like a stranger on my metro line.
But never did I welcome it,
Never did I wish to clasp its cheeks and examine its face
Or seek it out as lovers’ recreation.

To be awake for the dawn was to be awake for the darkness preceding.
And I couldn’t think of anything more macabre,
More profane,
Than awakening in Erebus’s closed casket
Holding my breath as the sky was exhumed from the ground.
Starting my mornings with the machinations of a grave robber in saffron robes.

But this Aurora, with her fingers rosy and gangrened,
That pry deftly at my eyelids and coverlets,
in her primordial envy,
Swinging her spade and dashing daylight on rocky shore;
If she craves sleep as I do,
She may know that she has bedfellows here.