emergency contact.

It is 5 something in the part of the morning where it is still dark and quiet and the floor does not creek above. Sleep is being digested in every direction. Your body is cold or covered in sweat. Your only company is the dryness on your skin asking to be itched. You are nude or gathered up in cotton. It is too soon for an alarm to alert you to wake. Not too early for cars to speed over potholes; you can hear their tire marks and the traffic lights turn. You can hear the weight of too many thoughts climb away from you. Who do you call?

The sun is in a dressing room somewhere, too high up to be captured by photographers. It is getting fitted for a new layer of heat. If the sun could speak, it might stage a performance piece that addresses the discomfort of trying on anything new. It has a complicated relationship with the moon; in this moment, they are treating each other with silence. There are birds, but the phone cord doesn’t reach. Alone, the sun wishes to call someone, but its height and burn has pushed everyone away.

The elephant gets distracted by the shine of water reflecting off rocks and leaves like skinny, green rafts. The others have gone off and it can feel a shutter resonate from the ground below. Footsteps can be a map back toward where one needs to go: an indentation or rhythm of heel pounding against earth. But the connection is bad and these impressions are full of static. So, the elephant remains. There is nothing left to eat here, so it chews on its loneliness, caught up in the grooves of teeth and breath. Time is marked by temperature drip and the way the light turns into an overwhelming shadow.

The human sits inside a room, which is window’d and warm. Their body is empty from dreams carting away the indigestion of the previous day’s meals. They search for the right words to call this feeling. Letters become replaced by soundswhich become a collision of wails. This human ages and is alone. Feels like the sun because although this human has been described as bright, isolation has become its emergency contact. Feels like an elephant because although this human has been titled traveler of pages, wrinkles of sad decorate each fold and tumble of bones.

It does not get easier. So there is a cling to meditation and old habits. There are diets and doors. Everyone is so attached to the plastic in their pockets, but when it rings, no one answers.

If this were an emergency, could you be found?