pre-dawn epiphanies
Christin Shumaker

I.
i was late for the dinner party.
it took longer to walk than i thought and
you were letting the sweet and sour vegetables
go cold.
i didn't know
that everyone was waiting
all slack around the coffee table, drinking
whiskey out of wine glasses and reading
extinct words out of a dictionary from 1902.

like anti-irishism
which kate with the dreads took offense to,
even though she was from scoot-land.

but she could identify with them,
being a minority and seemingly unwanted,
like the time she went to the rasta festival
when the jamaica lady came over and asked

"little white girl, where are the rest of your
dreads?"

for kate's dreads chose to hide in the safety
that was the nape of her neck
as though afraid of heights.

and when kate responded
that they hadn't grown in yet
the Jamaica lady, stepping forward, grasped
kate's hands and proclaimed that she would pray
for her dreads.

although, from that tale,
kate didn't seem very unwanted,
but looks from other festival goers
would reveal otherwise.

II.
asleep on the couch,
i forget to watch the thunderstorm
and missed out on waves of thunder
that shook the house
bottles of wine crashing to the floor

a flood of grapes and glass formed a river
upon the landscape of the kitchen.

tonight we will drink
and have pre-dawn epiphanies,
heaven being a glass of whiskey
during an indian summer heat wave
and if it isn't heaven
it will at least be a path to the gates.
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