On Waking

pockets filled with rocks

On waking, the water filter sitting there on the counter in the kitchen in the beam of light that is the sun in the morning was it collecting something germs bacteria how long had it been sitting there I should wash it out regularly instead of just filling it up with the green pitcher but I was lying there in bed still half-asleep. I’d just been on a cruise with my sisters and my father who’d brought us there a treat, he’d said and this despite the pandemic despite de-spite. I had plunged into a moving river with a raft, immersed my self fully clothed, it seemed, my head and hair slicked back like a seal to the edge of the boat and stood to look over the edge to the ocean but my feet got stuck in a trough some sludge something so I swam away and met my sister in a room crowded with people waiting for my father to give a signal to someone who worked there. My father was wearing a suit and looked exactly as he looked every day of my childhood going to work as the manager of Saks Fifth Avenue, he looked dashing and dark and smelled of Aramis but here on this cruise he was a ringleader, a master of ceremonies, so he raised his hand and somebody somewhere flicked a switch or pushed a lever or lifted a door and balls came out, hundreds and hundreds of colored balls bouncing and flying and my sister and I reached and batted and dodged the balls, they flew through the air, our eyebrows were raised why were we on this cruise? and I even thought of Sophie, how I’d go back to the house to her and the hallway and the roses in the middle of the table.