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Issue #5: Nonfiction

Jad Adkins

This Morning, While You Were Sleeping            

          This morning, while you were still sleeping, there was a tiny burlap fiber flittering on the dresser beneath the window. It was the first thing I saw when I woke up, and I watched it for a long time, watched it go wild in the air under the ceiling fan, how it was illuminated by a broken piece of sunlight streaking slant through the blinds, brilliant, like a static snap of electricity.  

          You are usually awake before me. Most mornings, I hear you before I get up, walking in the hallway, your slippersoles scraping busily across the rug. Or, I hear you in the kitchen, clinking, making tea. Sometimes, I hear you singing. And I don’t think I can explain what it means to me, your constant motion, the sound of your distant orbiting. But I feel like I have gravity.  I feel like all this restless matter still matters.

          Because when I begin to trace your course through the house, like an astronomer tracing celestial bodies, I am never more aware of our place in the universe, how delicate it is, what is bound to happen to all these little trajectories.

          This morning, while you were still sleeping, the fiber of burlap, I imagined it was a tiny slit in the air. I imagined it was a stitch slipped from the material world revealing some deeper tangibility, whipping like an eternal nerve touching time.  

          I wanted to wake you. I wanted to tell you about fibers, about filaments adrift. I thought I might reach over and touch your eyelid, gently, the way one tries to catch a soap bubble on the tip of a finger, but I didn’t. You looked as if you knew already. Your skin looked lit from within, its tiny blonde hairs, effulgent.

Jad Adkins is an MFA candidate at Georgia College.

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