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“When Did 1 AM Become So Early?” – Alex Shenstone

When did 1am become so early?

Was it in that first year,
when I lived inside thin walls
with strangers, who put music through the air
until the sun would, angrily, rise?

Was it in that second year,
when walking back and forth
half a mile a day, had me
collapsing on my bed at tea-time?
After which I would awake,
in time for the watershed to be long past,
and my day, oddly, restarted.

Was it in that third year,
when fear of the law changing overnight,
forbading me my friends,
meant I gave them my twilight hours,
in case they were our last?

Or, is it now?
When the day seems too cold to walk in;
and the clouds that cover the sun
look so much more darling from
behind my window.

The day has become so late,
I feel as if I see it,
being lowered,
and I am ready with a handful of soil
and a rose, to pay my respects.

Others, however, live in the day.
The ones to whom I am answerable.

So at 1am I must sleep,
for I am expected in the day.
It’s 1am, and I have to sleep
. . . yet I hear the
nighttime noises play.

About the Author:

Alex (He/Him) is a trans UK university student who spends most of his time on multiple streaming services. He also adores the Marvel Cinematic Universe and is set this year to complete a Creative Writing Masters. His debut poetry collection ‘Jack of All Tales’ is out with Alien Buddha Press, and he has other work out with Not Deer Mag, Ghost Orchid Press, Green Ink Poetry, The Minison Project, and others. He can be found on Twitter at @AlexakaSatan.

This piece is part of Issue Two: CHRONOS. Read more like it here.

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