New Poem

by nicolecallihan

Near Dawn

In the refrigerator, a bowl of green grapes,

seedless, but still a place where the seed was meant to be.

I have been over the sink, wondering about winter,

while my husband sleeps, the sheets marking his face

in a way I’ll try, uselessly, to smooth later. My mother,

I’m sure, is waking up in Oklahoma. Her hands hurt;

I can feel the pain in my own, but it’s too early to call.

The sound of a phone ringing at this hour—

hollow, frightening—someone is dying, you just know it.

If it is only your adult daughter, the one who’s pecking

at grapes, if it is only her, asking how your plants are,

how you are, if it is only her, and the ring has broken

your whole house, it might not quite be worth it.

That racing of the heart when silence is interrupted—

someone would need to be dead or hurt or really, really lonely,

so lonely even the dawn wouldn’t make good company.